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African leaders set to crush coup in Sao Tome

LogoDaily Independent Online.         * Thursday July 17, 2003

Representatives get N2.8bn furniture, car advances

By Uchenna Awom

Daily Independent, Abuja


The Speaker of House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari, for the first time yesterday, confirmed that members of the House have so far collected the sum of N2.844billion from the government to cover their car, furniture and housing advances.

Breaking down the amount, Massari told reporters at the weekly ‘hot seat’ that each lawmaker picked N2.7million for car loan, N2.3million for furniture advances and N790, 000 representing one-year salary in lieu of rent.

He said members are entitled to what they collected, adding that though refundable, the gesture was targeted at creating good environment for efficiency and concentration.

Masari also used the occasion to clarify the National Assembly position on the controversial asylum granted the embattled Liberian President, Charles Taylor, by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said the president adequately briefed the legislators before he made the pronouncement.

“There was no way the president could make such offer without the consent of the National Assembly, even before deploying troops to any country, the consent of the lawmakers must be sought,” he said.

Speaking on liabilities left behind by the past leadership of the House, the Speaker said the leadership decided to set up an ad-hoc committee on transition to assess and determine the quantum of liabilities left behind by the past administration of the House.

The committee, he said, is yet to turn up their report to the House.

Meanwhile, the Speaker stated that people should resist the temptation of equating the confrontations and conflicts that characterised the last House to mean that the House of Representatives is a conflict-oriented institution.

According to him, the last House was conflict prone because of the large concentration of some people who served in the various military regimes in the country.

He said constant confrontations with the executive arm of government are not the hallmark of legislation.

“That does not mean there would not be occasional disagreement on issues that border on national interest,” he stated.




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