The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, has expressed concern that the annual budget of the National Assembly has remained unchanged for 13 years, despite the impact of inflation and its associated consequences.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Musa Krishi.
The Speaker said that the expenditure of the federal legislature has increased over this period, without corresponding budgetary provisions to support it.
Abbas made this statement during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the African Business Roundtable, led by the Executive Director (West Africa), Dotun Ajayi, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “Our budget has remained static for 13 years, while our expenditure has continued to rise during this period. In fact, there were instances when the National Assembly budget was reduced from its 2011 levels.”
Abbas pointed out that during the 10th House tenure, they established over 60 parliamentary friendship committees to improve relationships between the House and other parliaments across the world.
He said: “I am pleased to inform you that the House had already taken steps in line with your concerns several months ago. On July 27, we announced the membership of 43 parliamentary friendship committees to explore ways of enhancing our relations, particularly in business and other aspects, with them.
“Two weeks ago, we increased the number from 43 to 65. Just yesterday, we added Serbia, bringing the total to 66.”
Earlier, Ajayi highlighted that the recent coup in Niger Republic has changed the dynamics of engagements between some European countries and West Africa.
He pointed out that Niger’s relations were strained primarily with France in Europe, and the French government was contemplating cutting all forms of assistance to West Africa due to the coup.
“The president has been involved in certain diplomatic efforts behind the scenes on this matter. The parliament needs to visibly collaborate with him on this. Our Parliament should engage the French Parliament and the EU,” he suggested.
He also noted that the European Union had allocated 20 billion Euros for Sub-Saharan Africa, stating, “We aim to see a situation where your engagement enhances what comes to Nigeria.”