Omisore’s N60bn scan­dal raises ques­tions on N/Assem­bly bud­get

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Is­mail Mu­dashir & Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

A doc­u­ment dis­cov­ered at the Abuja res­i­dence of Se­na­tor Iyi­ola Omisore has raised fresh con­cerns about the bud­get of the Na­tional Assem­bly that has over the years been shrouded in se­crecy.

Of­fi­cials of the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) had at the week­end re­vealed the dis­cov­ery of the doc­u­ment, in­di­cat­ing a N60 bn fi­nan­cial scan­dal in the bud­get of the Na­tional Assem­bly in the sixth se­nate (2007 - 2011). Omisore rep­re­sented Osun East un­der the plat­form of Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) and was the chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Ap­pro­pri­a­tion at that time.

The doc­u­ment showed how N60 bn was voted for ex­tra­ne­ous over­head ex­penses for some sen­a­tors and mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the 6th Assem­bly.

The anti-graft agency was said to have of­fi­cially writ­ten the man­age­ment of the Na­tional Assem­bly on the dis­cov­ery. Omisore is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated over N1.310 bn he re­ceived from the Of­fice of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser (ONSA). A source in the Na­tional Assem­bly told our cor­re­spon­dent that the scan­dal had been on since 2010 when the bud­get of the Na­tional Assem­bly was made a one-line item.

The Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Bukola Saraki, had on sev­eral oc­ca­sions promised to make the break­down of the bud­get avail­able to the pub­lic.

When con­tacted, the Direc­tor of In­for­ma­tion, Mr. Ishaku Dibal, said he was not aware of the EFCC’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the Na­tional Assem­bly on the scan­dal.

When our cor­re­spon­dents went to the of­fice of the act­ing clerk to the Na­tional Assem­bly, Muhammed Sani-Omolori, of­fi­cials asked them to re­turn to­day.

The bud­get of the Na­tional Assem­bly started sky­rock­et­ing in 2003 when it was jerked up from N23.347 bn to N32.229 bn in 2004 and the fol­low­ing year it went up to N55.422 bn. The bud­get that cov­ers the salaries and al­lowances of the 109 Sen­a­tors, the 360 House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives mem­bers, their aides as well as the bud­get of the Na­tional Assem­bly Com­mis­sion, Na­tional In­sti­tute for Leg­isla­tive Stud­ies (NILS) and the Pub­lic Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (PCP) dropped to N39.810 bn in 2006.

In 2007 when Se­na­tor David Mark was Se­nate Pres­i­dent, N66.488 bn was bud­geted, in 2008 N104.825 bn, in 2009 N96.052 bn and in 2010 N154.2 bn was bud­geted. Since 2010, the bud­get of the law­mak­ers stood at N150 bn for four years un­til last year when it was slashed to N120 bn and this year N115 bn was al­lo­cated to them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.