The decision by the National Assembly to allocate N70bn from the N819bn federal supplementary budget to its members has sparked anger among Nigerians. Lawmakers defended the allocation, stating that it was meant to support their working conditions. However, citizens have labeled the move as insensitive, especially when many are struggling with the economic hardships resulting from the fuel subsidy removal.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), an advocacy group, called on Senate President Mr. Godswill Akpabio and House Speaker Mr. Tajudeen Abbas to drop the plan of spending N40bn on luxury cars for members and principal officials and to reconsider the N70bn earmarked as “palliatives” for new members.
SERAP demanded a repeal of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act to reduce the National Assembly’s budget by N110bn, aligning it with the current economic realities and addressing the impact of fuel subsidy removal on the over 137 million impoverished Nigerians. The group issued a seven-day ultimatum, threatening legal action if their demands were ignored.
Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, also criticized the move, condemning it as callous and a violation of the country’s constitution. The allocation has ignited a heated debate over the priorities of the National Assembly amid the challenges faced by ordinary citizens.