The poor performance of some committees of the House of Representatives is a result of inadequate funding, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said.
According to him, the House is facing funding constraints and committees are unable to discharge their duties.
On Wednesday, 12 ad-hoc committees were discharged of their assignments due to their inability to meet the deadlines to complete their tasks.
Abubakar Fulata (APC, Jigawa), the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, moved the motion to discharge the committees of the responsibilities.
Citing Order 18, Rule 3(1g) of the Standing Order of the House, Mr Fulata said the committees failed several deadlines by the Speaker.
Reacting to the motion, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) said the accounting department of the House has not been releasing funds for the committees at the appropriate time.
He appealed to the Speaker to speak to the management to ensure prompt releases of funds.
Mr Gbajabiamila responded that the accounting department cannot give what it does not have.
He noted that the budget of the parliament is fixed, irrespective of the number of motions or bills considered.
Some of the assignments have been referred to some committees as far back as 2019.
For instance, the ad-hoc committee charged to interface with the federal government and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) was constituted in July 2019.
The investigation into the case of alleged assault and rape of a student at the FCT School of the Blind, Jabi, was also assigned in 2019.
Also, the ad–hoc committee looking into the global crash in the price of crude oil on the Appropriation Act, 2020, is yet to submit a report even as the 2021 Appropriation Act has been passed and already being implemented.
The House resolved that the committee of the whole should take over the assignments.
This is not the first time the House will be raising alarm over the paucity of funds, despite the N134 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2021 budget.
In February, the spokesperson of the House, Ben Kalu (APC, Abia) said the House lacks funds.
Mr Kalu repeated the same in March, saying the amount allocated was not sufficient.
Also, different organised unions in the National Assembly have been protesting the non-payment of salaries and allowances.
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