The House of Representatives spokesperson, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia) says Nigerian lawmakers are among the world’s poorest.
Speaking with reporters at the National Assembly, on Tuesday, Kalu said undue pressure from constituents is taking a toll on federal lawmakers.
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Kalu said because people misunderstand the roles of lawmakers, they ask them to perform tasks that are the prerogative of the executive.
He spoke after the House adjourned plenary in honour of Ossy Prestige, a lawmaker who died in Germany on Monday.
“Because of the lack of understanding of the role of the lawmakers by the people that elected us, they put us under pressure. They give us roles that are meant for the governors or ministers and then talk you down if you are not doing it.
“They flog you as you don’t know what you have come here to do. They don’t know that is not what you come here to do. It is an inferred burden. This is one of the poorest parliaments. You don’t see them live in luxury. People are receiving a lot of pressure on issues that do not concern them. The pressure coming from our constituents is way out of the scope. These guys are suffering. They are under stress.
“Those who are not supposed to build roads are asking to build roads. Those who are not supposed to build hospitals are asked to build hospitals. Do you know that members of the National Assembly spend their private money to take care of their constituents and the constituents feels that the money they are spending is from the federal government?
“This is killing them. Go and ask any of them, from the Senate to the House of Representatives. They are not finding it easy, but we will keep pushing on because it is national service. People don’t understand legislative work. That is why we keep explaining that our jobs is not to build houses, or build roads and hospitals. But are we going to stop? No, we will not stop because we are confident enough to carry the pressure,” he said.