…says proper funding necessary for parliaments to meet obligations
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC) has described the lawsuit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and others against the National Assembly leadership as a complete waste of time.
In a statement signed by Dr. Joyce Ogwu, the Centre said the suit challenging the increase of budgetary allocation for lawmakers was a mere distraction and another wild-goose chase by SERAP.
Ogwu said even though it was constitutional for the parliament to tinker with the estimates proposed by the executive, the adjustment was done to meet the current realities and in the overall interest of Nigerians.
The Centre said proper funding is necessary for parliaments to meet their obligations, adding that operational items are critical infrastructure needed everywhere in the world.
Ogwu further said that vital assets like libraries, printing press, and hospitals among others are a legacy for the future and should be commended.
The SHAC, therefore, advised SERAP to stop wasting donors’ money on irrelevant suits at the law courts.
Ogwu said SERAP has derailed from its philosophy to promote human rights, transparency, and accountability in governance and has rather embraced mischief to paint Nigeria internationally just to attract more funding.
The Centre, however, urged the NASS leadership to remain focused and resolute to help President Bola Tinubu achieve his mandate.
“We understand that this is a critical period for our nation and concerted efforts are required to make things work. With this in mind, we carried out an extensive analysis of the budget, especially as it concerns the allocation to the National Assembly.
“From our findings, there is nothing wrong with the adjustments by the NASS as it was done in the overall interest of Nigerians to meet the current realities. The legislature is the face of every nation.
“To improve our democracy, building a world-class parliament ready to compete with others internationally is paramount. The amount was increased because certain items of expenditure were not initially catered for. Some key projects and components too were not adequately funded.
“As we know, proper funding is necessary for parliaments to meet its obligations. This is the practice anywhere in the world. These items are critical infrastructure that is needed by the parliament.
“For example, a functional library is required to preserve and archive materials, acting as a knowledge base for staff and future generations. It is a source of information for policymakers, researchers, actors in the political arena, and citizens.
“Also, a working clinic is paramount, considering the number of staff and lawmakers who seek immediate medical attention daily. After all, it is a common practice across the world.
“There is a need for a printing press to be cited in the National Assembly complex. It is a shame that our lawmakers and staff print sensitive materials outside.
“We, therefore, want to advise SERAP to stop wasting donor’s money on irrelevant suits at the law courts. They are losing relevance. We wish to urge the NASS leadership to remain focused and resolute”.