Nigerians have suffered too much. No power, bad roads, poverty, quality of education is low, etc etc etc. To make matters worse the politicians are visibly perceived as corrupt and have no incentive to turn around the fortunes of the country.
So, it didn’t surprise me when I saw the outrage that followed the CBN Governors assertion that the “National Assembly overheads cost constitute 25% of the Nation’s Overhead cost”. People cried fowl and called for the heads of the Legislators or “Legislooters” as some call them. Whilst the members of the National Assembly are evidently corrupt and wasteful same can be said of the Federal Government and it’s numerous parastatals.
But then that is to deviate from the facts which is, does the National Assembly overheads actually constitute 25% of the Nations Overhead?
Should he be the right person dishing out such information considering the sensitive position that he holds? Couldn’t he have researched that information in more specific details? Well, the Senate Committee briefing with the CBN Governor and Minister of Finance proved otherwise contrary to what the press is reporting.
The Finance Minister who is the arrow head of the Nations Budgetary appropriations expressly stated that it is not correct to compare the National Assembly’s overhead to that of the Nation. To put this into context it is like comparing ones full salary to another person’s basic salary. Rather than admit he may have gotten his facts wrong, the CBN Governor adamantly stood by his words and referred to the Director of Budget where he claims he got his information from.
If the Director of Budget contradicts his information, what becomes of the CBN Governor? Couldn’t he have verified his figures personally considering the weight of what he was saying? Shouldn’t a CBN Governor guard his words more closely considering its impact on the Nation economy.
People forget the National Assembly is am arm of Government. Each member of the National Assembly has an office and a line of staff who work under him or her. As law makers they are given official vehicles, travel allowances, capital votes etc just like a Judge, another arm of Government will have. Democracy is considered expensive anywhere in the world because of the need to a have a trio of Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The National Assembly on its own is a third of the arm of Governance.
So, here is a bit of facts on overheads for the National Assembly based on the 2009 Appropriation Budget which is available in their website via this link http://www.budgetoffice.gov.ng/appro.html . You can judge for yourself.
If you look into the is you will realize that singling out the National Assembly’s “Overheads” as a Percentage of that of FG is not only misleading it’s is a blatant Sensationalization of Facts.