18 November 2012

Nigeria: Constitution Review - Reps Spend Over N.5 Billion On People's Public Sessions

The just-concluded people's public sessions organised by the House of Representatives in the nation's 360 federal constituencies gulped over N540 million, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY has learnt.

The Lower House on November 10, 2012 consulted with electorates and a cocktail of stakeholders via grassroots' public hearings on amendments to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

LEADERSHIP SUNDAY checks revealed that N1.5 million was disbursed to each of the 360 lawmakers in the House to conduct the sessions in their constituencies.This amounted to N540 million - N40 million more than N500 million earmarked for the review by the House of Representatives.

It was learnt that N1 billion was earmarked for the exercise, N500 million each for Senate and House of Representatives. Deputy Speaker, EmekaIhedioha Chaired the House Committee on Constitution Review.

A source within the House constitution review panel secretariat disclosed that the people's public sessions enjoyed huge "buy-in" in form of technical and financial support from some development partners (local/international) namely: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) were responsible for media sponsorship, capacity building and advocacy costs of the ongoing review vis a vis People's Public Sessions.

At zonal levels, the Senate sessions on the review of the 1999 constitution kicked off last Thursday.

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