FGAI bemoans increase of Legislature wage bill

Senate Upper houseFrom AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – FRIENDS in the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI), a Nigeria based parliamentary advocacy, monitoring and lobby group, has condemned the current increment of the number of the committees by the two arms of the National Assembly.

The group’s Executive Director, George Oji, urged the leadership of Parliament to rethink the matter and reverse it due to the current economic situation in the country.

Oji added the lawmakers should be concerned about how to join efforts with the executive, to seek ways of lifting the economy from its present near comatose state.

“While condemning the current increment of the number of the committees by the two arms of the National Assembly, Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative urges the leadership of the parliament to have a rethink over this matter. We urge that the increment be reversed because our national economy can hardly sustain the increase,” he said.

He added that bloating of standing committees in both chambers of the National Assembly at this point is “unnecessary, irresponsible, superfluous and out of tune with the present economic reality in the
country.”

“The increment is unfortunately coming at a time the present executive arm of Government is concerned about the increasing cost of governance and in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s philosophy of reducing the
recurrent expenditure component of our national budget, Government has embarked on measures aimed at reducing the number of the existing ministries, departments and agencies of government,” Oji added.

The group said elected representatives is to key into the philosophy of the present executive arm of government and seek ways of drawing down on the high cost of governance, especially recurrent expenditure, in response to the current dwindling resources of our economy.

The two chambers of the 8th National Assembly have just concluded the composition of their standing committees. From the former 89 Standing committees, the House of Representatives has raised the number to 96, while in the senate, the committees has also been upped to 65 from the 57.

CAJ News

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