House of reps broke, needs more money to effectively function: Spokesman

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The House of Representatives is broke, the spokesman of the lower legislative chamber, Benjamin Kalu, reiterated Thursday.

Mr Kalu who ingeminated this while speaking to newsmen in Abuja said the situation has affected the green chamber and it is not functioning effectively.

He also called for the increase in the allocation of funds for the National Assembly.

“Yes, the House is broke, I have said it before, and I am saying it again, and I am not afraid of saying it,” the All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmaker from Abia State said.

“This is the fact until Nigerians believe that the appropriation that was made for the running of the National Assembly, which was done when the exchange rate of naira to the dollar was 180 is less now than what it used to be.

“The dollar equivalent today has gone up to over N400, the purchasing power of the budget as it is now is weaker than it was ten years ago,” he said.

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Kalu said he has fought with the leadership of the National Assembly, asking why they have refused to increase the budget of the lawmaking arm pegged at N128billion.

He said the sum which he described as paltry hampers lawmakers from working effectively when shared among parliamentary agencies and about 6,000 members of staff and lawmakers aides.

“Why are you afraid to raise the budget of the National Assembly that will enable us to conduct our services efficiently and effectively,” he queried, saying, “We appropriate for agencies to run effectively, and yet, we are in penury trying to run our own constitutional mandate, it is a disservice to Nigerians and the poor budget of the parliament is a disservice to Nigerians.”