By Peter Duru
The Federal lawmaker representing Gwer/Gwer West federal constituency, in the House of Representatives, Mr. Mark Gbillah has decried the level of corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s resources by the executive.
The lawmaker who spoke Tuesday in Makurdi lamented that the executive presides over the expenditure of over 98 per cent of Nigeria’s annual budget without commensurate developmental projects to show for the huge funds.
According to him, “the budget of the National Assembly every fiscal year never exceeds N138billion. In fact, it is usually around N125billion. Now let’s take this year’s budget, for instance, that is about 1.1 percent of the entire budget. The judiciary takes about one percent while the executive sits on about 97 to 98% of the annual budget and yet Nigerians wonder where corruption is.
“You can see how they have misguided Nigerians not to look at the fact. Is it the one percent that goes to the National Assembly that is destroying Nigeria’s economy? Even if we cancel all the pays of the legislators what difference will that make?
“We must all know that the budget of the National Assembly is not given to members to share. The money goes to the running of the National Assembly.
“The legislature is separate from the administrative arm of the National Assembly. You have the civil service, you have the National Institute of Legislative Studies, we have the Committee work, before you come to the allowances of our aides and the allowances and salaries of lawmakers and all the operation.
“That is what that budget goes for. But unfortunately, you will see people carrying out some mathematics sharing the budget among the lawmakers.
“Who does that. Should we divide the 98% of the budget that goes to the executive among the president, his vice and the ministers?
“These are things Nigerians need to really start to understand. People have pitched Nigerians against the legislators. But Nigerians need to support us to enable us do our work. If they look at us as the problem, they will stop us from being able to look at where the real problem is based, which is the executive.
“Nigerians should be wise and rise up to where the problem of their country is. It is in the executive, that is where the corruption is and that is where our money is mismanaged.”