- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 05:02
- Written by Admin
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THINGS may not be too rosy for the incoming Senators and members of the House of Representatives. The Federal Government is set to scale down the jumbo pay outgoing lawmakers have been enjoying for the past four years.
This, it was learnt, is to be done through the 2011 Budget. The thinking of the Presidency is that such allowances are outrageous and have become sources of distraction and acrimonies in the parliament.
For the incoming federal lawmakers, while the Presidency has directed that the allowances of members of the House of Representatives be scaled down from N42 million to N30 million per quarter each, that of the senators will go down from N46 million to N33 million per quarter.
This was coming on the heels of the insistence of President Goodluck Jonathan that the 2011 Budget of N4.2 trillion, as against the N4.9 trillion approved by the outgoing lawmakers, is unimplementable. His argument is that the Federal Government would not be able to finance the budget with the expected internally generated revenue.
In fact, it was learnt that the refusal of the President to sign the budget since, was due to the discovery of some monies said to be hidden in it and the fact that the government, this time, can not coop with the lawmakers’ proposed jumbo pay, which they have already built into the budget.
It was reliably gathered from one highly-placed civil servant that the Presidency has vowed that it is not going to be business as usual with the incoming lawmakers.
Sources revealed that the budget has been sent back to the National Assembly for both chambers to work on and scale down “to a reasonable level that the Federal Government will be able to finance and doing that, the Presidency demanded that the National Assembly, especially, should review downwards the allowances of its members.
Already, both the Senate and the House Committees on Appropriation are said to be working towards ensuring that the budget is scaled down as directed by the Federal Government.
It was further learnt that the two chambers have resolved that the only way to solve the logjam over the budget is to reduce the allowances of their members.
Meanwhile, many Representatives-elect have started agitating to be members of juicy committees, when eventually inaugurated next month.
The lawmakers, at a retreat for them in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, are from the six geopolitical zones, have started making enquiries about the “juicy committees” in the House and what their total package would be. (Compass)