ICPC Urges Full Disclosure Of NASS Budget
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye has submitted that the executive arm of government in Nigeria is more corrupt than the legislative and judicial arms.
The ICPC boss made the declaration while delivering a lecture tagged “The legislature and fight against graft and corruption” at the orientation session for new legislators in Abuja.
According to Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC spokesperson, Owasanoye in his speech, also described corruption as the enemy of development and good governance.
He further noted that the budget for the legislative arm of government in Nigeria has been on a constant increase since 1999, without any defensible moral or legal justification for such.
He added that the lawmakers in Nigeria are one of the highest paid in the world, urging that in order to clear the air on corruption associated with the National Assembly, the lawmakers need to make their budget public.
“Corruption in the executive is far more than the legislature and judiciary combined. This is because the executive spends a far bigger chunk of the money appropriated,” Owosanoye was quoted to have said.
“This gives room for allegations of abuse and misappropriation of the funds. It is believed that we have the highest paid legislators representing the poorest people in the world.
“Since 1999, national assembly budget has increased without defensible legal or moral justification. Without increase in membership and addition of only one or two agencies, national assembly budget grew from N6.9 billion in 1999 to N139 billion in 2018.
“The problem is that it is just a single line item; the public is hardly told the breakdown and how it is used. The criticisms will disappear if we are told how it is spent.
“The Legislature must wake up to its role of oversight over Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to curb the menace.”
In his response, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the House of Representatives, agreed with Owasanoye on the need for full disclosure of details of the National Assembly budget so as to clear the notion of corruption within the legislative arm of government.