The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Vice-Chancellor, Ahman Pategi University, Pategi, Kwara State, Prof. Mahfouz Adedimeji, yesterday, expressed divergent views on the claim that the National Assembly runs the most expensive legislature in the world.
At the 10th annual symposium of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, B Zone, held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the VC, who was the guest lecturer, with the theme: “Saving a nation on the precipice: between re-federation and secessionalism,” Adedimeji said there was need to rejig legislature’s operation in the country, declaring that Nigerian parliament is the most expensive in the world.
While cautioning agitators against calls for the country’s disintegration, Adedimeji said he shared the informed view of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that it is ‘idiotic’ to call for disintegration of Nigeria at the time the world is integrating.
He said current political structure requires some restructuring, and that to save Nigeria from the brink of the precipice, Nigerians should go on with one Nigeria.
He said: “With due respect to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Nigeria spends the highest amount of money on legislators in the world, and the National Assembly consumes more money than any other parliament in the world. A unicameral legislature with two representatives from each state is sufficient. The National Assembly should have less than 100 members, including Abuja.”
But, Gbajabiamila disagreed with the guest lecturer, saying it was a wrong view that NASS runs a very expensive legislature
Represented by member of House of Representatives from Ifo/Ewekoro constituency, Ibrahim Isiaka, Gbajabiamila, who was chairman of the occasion said: “… When you say National Assembly, you are not talking about legislators, who are the lawmakers. You are talking about the National Assembly Commission; you are talking about everything, all encompassing. Money budgeted for all this is less than two per cent of total budget of this country. But nobody has ever looked at what is happening to the 98 per cent.”
Gbajabiamila, however, called for a total re-orientation of national core values, as a way to carve a new agenda for the country.
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