More than a week after commencing their annual vacation, many members of the House of Representatives have been unable to travel out of Abuja.
Findings by SUNDAY PUNCH revealed that the delay in the payment of their salaries and other allowances is responsible for the cash crunch facing the legislators.
It was also learnt that after waiting for bank alerts in the last one week, many members besieged their banks to find out what the problem is.
It was gathered that the July salary of the legislators had yet to be paid as of Friday.
A member of the House of Representatives receives between N690,000 and N1.1m monthly.
They also receive a quarterly allocation of between N27.9m and N33m.
But a drop in the flow of funds to the legislature in recent months forced the bureaucracy to reduce the lawmakers’ monthly package.
The disappointed lawmakers were said to have blamed the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for the non-release of funds budgeted for the National Assembly.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker from Edo State, Johnson Agbonayinma, confirmed to SUNDAY PUNCH that members were owed salaries.
Although he admitted that the delay in payment of their salary is a “major problem” workers in several agencies of government faced, Agbonayinma argued that the case of the National Assembly appeared to be deliberate.
I don’t know what else to say. We are suffering. Nigerians are suffering. The National Assembly is treated with levity; they don’t take our case seriously.
The people in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank tell us the same story every day. That is why I have been praying that President Muhammadu Buhari should get well quickly and return home.
According to an All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Kano state, Bashir Baballe, said members were facing “financial difficulties.”
I am here in Abuja. We are still waiting for our salary. Travelling is not the issue now.
When contacted, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, said the salary issue was not handled at the level of the Committee on House Services but by the bureaucracy of the National Assembly.
However, the bureaucracy blamed the development on “poor budgetary releases” by the finance ministry.topics from