Yusuf Lasun, deputy speaker of the house of representatives, believes the N150 billion annual budgetary allocation that the national assembly has been receiving in the last three years is appropriate.
Lasun buttressed his view by saying the amount represents only 2.67 percent of the entire budget of the country.
He said the fact that aides of the lawmakers get their salaries and allowances from the money, which has drawn the ire of Nigerians, makes it justifiable.
The decline in oil price led to slashing of the budget to N120 billion in 2015.
“When you talk about salary, it has to be tied to something. For the last three years with the exception of 2015, the budget of national assembly has been N150 billion,” he told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday.
“And that is exactly 2.67 per cent of the total budget of the federation. So, I don’t know why people said it was 25 percent of the budget of the federation. The budget of the national assembly is 2.67 per cent of the budget of the federation and so it is not overblown.
“People have suddenly forgotten and don’t know that here are 469 members in the national assembly with each one having five aides paid from the N150 billion.
“We have national assembly commission, all of them draw their salaries and allowances from the N150 billion. So when people talk, they say it is only the house of representatives members and the senators that collect the N150 billion but they forget that in the 2015 budget, the money has been reduced to N120 billion.”
Reacting to the speculation that he is under pressure to step down because the election of the new principal officials of the assembly created a dispute in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the lawmaker quipped: “Why will I resign?
“I went through an election on the mandate of the speaker (Yakubu Dogara).”
Lasun, who represents Irepodun/Olorunda/Osogbo/Orolu federal constituency of Osun state, defeated Mohammed Monguno, the official candidate of the APC for the number two position of the green chamber, in the election which held on June 9.
He polled 203 votes as against Monguno’s 153.