16 February 2009

Nigeria: Lack of Funds Forces Assembly On Recess

Abeokuta — Lack of fund may have been responsible for the recess embarked upon by Ogun State House of Assembly, THISDAY gathered.

Dropping the hints in a chat with THISDAY yesterday in Abeokuta, Deputy Majority Leader, Honourable Giwa Femi Isiaka, representing Sagamu 1 state constituency, said the Assembly had not received any money from the executive arm of government this legislative year.

He said this had made it difficult for the Assembly to run its administrative duties smoothly, adding that the development was not only worrisome, but curious.

"This year, we have not received penny from the governor. Even, there is no money for our official duties, no kobo given to anybody in the house by the governor," Isiaka said.

He said he was amused when he read on national dailies that members of the Assembly were demanding N138million bribe from the governor, to tarnish the integrity of members of the Assembly.

Isiaka said the statement smirked of "blackmail, lies, and an attempt to blacklist us. the plot has failed woefully, because records are there for the public to investigate and find out who is telling the truth."

He said the Assembly budget for 2009 was duly presented to Governor Gbenga Daniel, but to the utter dismay of the Assembly, the governor turned it down, adding that for anybody to come out and link the lawmakers to demanding bribe was political.

He told THISDAY that since the normal and constitutional allocation was turned down by Daniel, that was why "we closed down our offices, because we do not have funds to even make Order Papers, no diesel to power the generator, we can't pay the drivers, there is nothing."

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