N37 billion renovation of NASS for whose interest?
We know that the National Assembly was established under Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “It is vested with powers to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation with respect to matters in the exclusive legislative list.” The primary functions of a legislator include: Making laws pertaining to issues affecting public interest; Representing the opinions and interest of citizens and the nation as a whole; and, Overseeing government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
At this critical time, Nigerians need a national Assembly that will subsume their personal interest into that of nation. Therefore, much is expected from the legislators in the discharge of their functions with a Parliament worth its name in driven national interest. Sometime around the middle of this year, President Muhammadu Buhari approved N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex. The amount, which is captured in the 2020 budget is however not part of the N128 billion allocated for the National Assembly for next year.
The economy is still in a bad shape, and the facts speak for themselves; at the end of the last quarter of the year unemployment rate was high, insecurity challenges still persistent, skyrocketed food price, mountainous debt both at federal and states. What is benefits that Nigerians will derive from the renovation of the National Assembly complex?
The leadership of National Assembly and the President should take more than a passing interest in the state of the economy.
In simple term, I submit that the decision is “misplacement of pariorities”. Instead of injecting the money into renovation, there should be need for National Assembly leadership to make a great secrefice in channelling the fund to interest-free loans for small businesses across the country. I have been to National Assembly and buildings need no renovation more than our public schools, classrooms, hospitals and roads which are mostly in a decrepit condition across the nation.
If the country under the present serous economic challenge can afford to wast N37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, absolutely we don't know how much the phase 2 and 3 of the renovation will cost taxpayers. Nigerians want a leadership of National Assembly to be in forefront of reforms that will have the far reaching positive impact on the lives of Nigerians. Not projects that will not help Nigerians. This renovation raises some scaring questions in the minds of Nigerians.
Dukawa can be reach at [email protected]