Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, on Monday said the national assembly budget grew from N6.9 billion in 1999 to N139 billion in 2018 without any defensible legal or moral justification.
This is also in spite of the fact that the number of legislatures had remained the same.
The ICPC Chairman however accused Nigeria’s executive arm of government of being more corrupt than the judicial and legislative arms put together.
Delivering a lecture titled “The legislature and fight against graft and corruption” at the induction for new legislators in Abuja, Owasanoye said corruption was an enemy of development and good governance.
According to a statement by Rasheedat Okoduwa, spokesperson, to the ICPC chairman, Owasanoye, also said Nigeria has the highest paid legislators representing the poorest people in the world.
“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.
“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.”
Responding, Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the House of Representatives, said he had canvassed for a complete disclosure of the budget of the national assembly to put an end to the numerous accusations of corruption against members.