by crossriverwatch admin
The Cross River State House of Assembly may have expended well over N546m from the total of N1.7b that was appropriated for the State Legislature in the 2012 Appropriation Act on the salaries and emoluments of its twenty five members within the last legislative session. The House within the same period passed only seven bills into law and fifty six resolutions.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Larry Odey, disclosed this in Calabar while briefing newsmen on activities marking the end of the first legislative session of the house.
According to him, the bills are: Cross River State Bureau of Statistics Bill 2011 State Fiscal Responsibility Bill 2011, and State Public Finance Management Bill 2011.
Others include: the State Appropriation Bill 2012, Public Procurement Bill 2011, the 2011 Supplementory Appropriation Bill, and the State Geographic Information System (GIS) Agency Bill 2011.
The Speaker further said that 16 out of the 56 resolutions where on matters of urgent public interest as well as four public petitions were deliberated upon.
But according to figures obtained by crossriverwatch from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, (RMAFC), the table below explains how over N546m may have been expended on passing the 7 bills:
Salaries of Members of State Houses of Assembly:
Basic Salaries: (N)
Accommodation 200% of Basic = 2,674,450.00
Furniture 300% of Basic = 4,011,675.00
Car Loan 400% of Basic = 5,348,900.00
Car Maintenance 75% of Basic = 1,002,918.00
Personal Assistant 25% of Basic = 334,306.25
Wardrobe 25% of Basic = 334,306.25
Domestic Staff 75% of Basic = 1,002,918.00
Entertainment 30% of Basic = 401,167.50
Utility 30% of Basic = 401,167.50
Recess 10% of Basic = 133,722.50
Constituency 250% of Basic = 668,612.50
Newspaper 15% of Basic = 200,583.75
Severance 300% of Basic = 4,011,675.00 Paid at the end of term
Call Duty Varies
Approximate total per 1 member per Annum = N21,863,628.80
Note: Speaker and Deputy Speaker’s totals are different because of the difference in their basic salaries.
Total for 25 members of the House = N546,590,720.00
However, critics are of the opinion that with 196 councilors, representing the 196 political wards in the state with an annual basic salary of N760,076:00 and same allowances as their colleagues in the state house, amounting to N12m per annum, it is arguable that the whether the amount spent by the house is commiserate with the number of bills passed and the resolutions.
crossriverwatch investigations also reveal that, only an insignificant number of members of the State House are versed in legislative drafting. A senior civil servant in the House who spoke to crossriverwatch on condition of anonymity, said: “some of the lawmaker have not business in the house.
“my brother please don’t quote me. What you people have done, to create a space for Cross River people to talk is wonderful. Some of these people who call themselves lawmakers have no business being in this place. They have no idea what their duties are. May God help the State.”
It will be recalled that the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Alex Irek, representing Obubra state Constituency on the platform of ACN had early this month charged Crossriverians to initiate private member bills for the house to legislate. He decried the capacity gap in the house in terms of generating bills to meet the expectations of the public.
Attempts to get the opinion of the House leadership failed as attempts made to get the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Hon. Ngim Okpo, PDP, Biase State Constituency, did not produce results as he failed to either take his calls or reply the calls.
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