Daily Independent Online.
Thursday July 17, 2003
Representatives get N2.8bn furniture, car advances
By Uchenna Awom
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.
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
“That does not
mean there would not be occasional disagreement on issues that border on
national interest,” he stated.