Senator Ali Ndume, on Friday night, rejected the calls by Nigerians for a drastic cut in the National Assembly members’ budget, arguing that he believes the Lawmakers’ ridiculous expenses do not have any negative effect on the economy, and would not change anything if it is cut down or taken away,
“It has no effect on the economy”, Ndume said on Channels Television’s ‘Hard Copy’, when asked about the impact of the Legislators’ pay on the country’s economy.
Senator Ndume who represents Borno South in the Senate, explained that members of the National Assembly only got N128 billion allocation in the 2021 budget of N13 trillion.
“For me, call out the National Assembly, cancel the NASS. That means you have N128 billion reduction but does that make any difference? Because this thing (calls for the reduction of National Assembly members’ pay) is getting too much for people like me that have come out to serve; not because I came out to be rich.”
He further argued that no Legislature has ever garnered wealth because he was at the National Assembly.
“No Legislature, go and check the record, has come out and become a rich man, because he was one time a Legislator; go and check”, Ndume boldly stated.
According to him, since he ventured into politics in 2003, his lifestyle has not changed. He also insisted that the problem with the country, is the cost of governance across all arms of government.
“I joined politics in 2003. Go and ask people, my lifestyle has not really changed. The cost of governance is the problem. The cost of governance at all levels including the National Assembly. But you cannot be talking about the expensive nature of governance, isolating only the National Assembly.”
He noted that apart from salaries, the budgetary allocation for members of the National Assembly, caters for overhead cost and the payment of staff, stating that: “The office is run by money.”
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