N70bn Palliative: Falana Slams Lawmakers’ Insensitivity Over Bumper Pay, Senate Retaliates

Jul 17, 2023 | Entertainment, News

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  • More criticism has ensued over the N70 billion earmarked as palliative funds for lawmakers in the national assembly
  • Senior Advocate and human rights lawyer Femi Falana has joined other critics to slam the National Assembly for the outrageous budget
  • Falana described the move as “sheer insensitivity coupled with impunity” amid Nigeria’s chronic poverty and hardship

FCT, Abuja Human rights lawyer and public affairs commentator Femi Falana has slammed the national assembly over allocating N70 billion as palliatives for its members amid Nigeria’s thickening poverty and hardship.

As reported by Punch, Falana expressed his grievances and displeasure over the matter via a statement issued on Sunday, July 16, where he described the move as illegal, contemptuous and insensitive.

Senate, lawmakers, palliative, N70bn
The Senate has revealed that the N70 billion palliative for the national assembly is meant for lawmakers and people working at the NASS complex. Photo Credit: Godswill Obot Akpabio
Source: Facebook

Falana noted that the move is a breach of the relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and urged the immediate reversal of these controversial measures.

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Falana said:

“Out of sheer insensitivity coupled with impunity, the members of the National Assembly, regardless of political affiliation, conspired to breach the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 by padding the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2023 to provide the so-called palliative of N70 billion for 306 newly elected members.

“While the masses of Nigeria are groaning under the excruciating economic pains unleashed on them by the ruling class, the National Assembly has awarded N228.7 million to each of the newly elected legislators.”

Falana also critiqued the national assembly’s move to allocate another additional N40 billion for the purchase of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and bulletproof cars for principal officials and members.

Senate replies Falana defends N70bn palliative for lawmakers

Meanwhile, The Nation reported that the Senate is not pleased with the continued criticism trailing the N70 billion palliative funds earmarked for the national assembly.

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In defence of these criticisms, the lawmakers said the money was earmarked to support “the working conditions of National Assembly members.”

According to a statement released by the Senate Committee Chairman on Media and Publicity, Senator Yemi Adaramodu said the national assembly is not the nation’s enemy.

While defending the N70bn palliative for the national assembly, he said:

“a visit to the suites, offices and the general structures of the National Assembly complex would reveal a yawning and the need for exigent attention.

“Many senators had to bring their chairs, tables and electronics and in many cases, do sundry repairs.

“It’s pertinent to also note that the National Assembly complex does not house only the legislators. There are thousands of workers and service providers, whose working environment need a facelift, and with necessary tools.

“Since the Assembly complex is not owned by legislators, who are merely political birds of passage, such allocation cannot be termed by anyone as a palliative to the legislators.”

Read also

Feder Government urged to make law for efficient port services

President Tinubu Faces Fresh Legal War Over “N70bn Giveaway to Lawmakers”

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu will soon face another legal battle over allocating N70bn for working conditions to new lawmakers.

SERAP, an accountability group, in reaction to the President’s move on Friday, vowed to challenge the decision in court.

While describing the development as a giveaway, the group said the allocation, which was approved by the national assembly on Thursday, is unlawful and vowed to stop it through the court.

Source: Legit.ng



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