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N50bn allegedly diverted from National Assembly allocation

By News Express on 28/11/2016

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Former House Committee chairman on Appropriation, Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin, has alleged that N500 billion out of N1.27 trillion statutory allocation to the National Assembly in the last 10 years was diverted into running cost. The suspended lawmaker made the allegation in a press statement he made available to House Press Corps.

Jibrin hinted that the statutory allocation to NASS in the last 10 years is N1.271 trillion.
He explained that the allocation of NASS is in the first line charge which makes it a mandatory payment from the Federation Account, adding that the utilisation of this allocation in the House had been shrouded in secrecy. Jibrin said when they receive the allocation, the running cost of members, which comes up to almost half the allocation, was deducted and no member has a copy of the internal budget of the House.

According to him, “To debunk the lies you are been told by the House of Representatives propaganda machine, I will be providing you with facts and figures in series of conversations commencing today with statutory allocation to National Assembly.

“To help you understand the truth about budget fraud, abuse of office, corruption and finances of the House of Representatives, the series will also deal with the reforms that are urgently needed to provide immediate and long term solution to the problems.

“Statutory allocation to NASS in the last 10 years is N1, 271.08 trillion. About N500 billion from the total allocation has been directly stolen in the name of running cost.

“The breakdown of the allocation is as follows: 2006- 49.3 billion naira; 2007- 59.80 billion naira; 2008 112.56 billion naira; 2009 106.64 billion naira; 2010 127. 78 billion naira; 2011 150 billion naira; 2012 150 billion naira; 2013 150 billion naira; 2014 150 billion naira; 2015 120 billion naira and 2016 115 billion naira.

“The NASS allocation is a first line charge in the budget which makes it a priority and mandatory payment from the Federation Account. The utilisation of this allocation which is the internal budget of the House has remain the most opaque in the entire world.
“When the allocation is received, the running cost of members which comes up to almost half the allocation is deducted. No member has a copy of the internal budget of the House which shows how the balance is spent.

“It is important to note that the running cost excludes salaries of legislative aides many of whom are ghost staff and other expenditures.

“The balance which is more than sufficient but for corruption is what is expected to be used to run the activities of the NASS.

“But severally the House still inserts some of its expenditure in the FGN budget, especially capital supplementation under service wide vote.

“There exist massive corruption in the management of this balance through award of fraudulent contracts. The running cost is paid directly into members personal accounts.

“The retirement of running cost expenditure is simply a signed letter to the Clerk by a member, no receipt or any evidence required or attached.

“The running cost system was designed by Speaker Dogara as Chairman House Services in the 6th Assembly, supervised it again in same capacity in the 7th Assembly and took it to another height in the 8th Assembly as Speaker.

“It is structured in collaboration with some private entities in such a way that allows a member to get a lump sum in advance.

“The fact is that the running cost is responsible for shrinking the NASS allocation and even worst with massive corruption there in the systemic corruption as a result of the running cost regime has made it difficult for members to stand up against corruption in the House.

“The House will never open up its budget or reform except something drastic is done by the security and anti graft agencies.”

Adapted from a Nigerian Pilot report. Photo shows Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Source News Express

Posted 28/11/2016 12:48:19 PM


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