ADC, Afenifere, others differ on proposed National Assembly spending
Contradictory opinions yesterday trailed an open letter urging the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to put pressure on the leadership of the National Assembly to cut the proposed wasteful spending on expensive official vehicles, legislative aides, travels and transportation, souvenirs and photocopiers.
A non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP), had in a letter by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, urged the vice president not to assent to the budget unless it truly reflects national development priorities, and not serves as a tool to satisfy the lifestyle of the lawmakers. It also copied Professor Philip Alston, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.
The National Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Nwosu, said instead of the persistent emphasis on the National Assembly’s jumbo pay and spending, which he claimed has been on over the years, “the vice president should rather call a tripartite meeting of the leadership of the legislative, executive and judicial arms of government to have a holistic patriotic deliberations on what can be done on the high cost of running government in Nigeria.”
Founder, Oodua Progressives Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasehun posited that the excesses of the lawmakers, who were supposed to be good ambassadors of the nation is outrageous in terms of public spending.
Although, the spokesman of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said the call was right, he however described it as hypocritical of the highest order, saying: “Why can’t they demand for a holistic approach. Most of the advocates made their calls because of their perceived closeness to the executive arm.”