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Supplementary budget: N70bn not palliative for lawmakers — Senate

The Senate has dismissed the claim that the appropriated N70bn for the National Assembly in the revised 2022 supplementary budget was a “gift” from the…

The Senate has dismissed the claim that the appropriated N70bn for the National Assembly in the revised 2022 supplementary budget was a “gift” from the executive arm of government to the federal legislators. 

The National Assembly on Thursday amended the N819.5 billion supplementary budget to make provision for N500 billion palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

In the amendment, N70 billion was also allocated to the National Assembly to support the “working condition” of new members.

The N70 billion has continued to draw public criticism amid high cost of living.

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But the Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu, in a statement on Sunday, said the fund was not a palliative for lawmakers but would be managed by the National Assembly bureaucracy.

He said, “After the passage of the supplementary budget to accommodate funding for federal government’s palliative for the Nigerian public, among other urgent national demands, the socio-political space has been inundated with spurious, inaccurate and irreverent misinterpretations.

“Suffice to say that the passage is part of the absolute constitutional duty of the Senate. We would therefore, not wish to join issues with the mischief and misrepresentation that a portion of the just passed Amendment Act that appropriated N70 billion was a ‘gift’ to the legislators.

“A visit to the suites, offices and the general structures of the National Assembly complex would reveal a yawning and the need for exigent attention. Many Senators had to bring their chairs, tables and electronics and in many cases, do sundry repairs.

“The so much debated allocation will not be paid to any legislator. This will be managed by the National Assembly Bureaucracy. It’s pertinent to also note that the National Assembly complex does not house only the legislators. There are thousands of workers and service providers, whose working environment need a face-lift, and/with necessary tools.

“Since the Assembly Complex is not owned by legislators who are merely political birds of passage, such allocation cannot be termed by anyone as a palliative to the legislators.

“The alleged padding of the palliatve Budget by the National Assembly only exists in the minds of those who are all out to discredit the 10th Assembly. There is nothing like padding as being alleged in some misinformed media outfits.”

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