Senate rules out funding political parties from public treasury
Halts new health centres for lack of funds
All the 45 registered political parties may seek funding from private sources as the Senate has foreclosed re-introducing funding them from public treasury. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday said government abandoned the practice of dishing out subventions for political parties because it was abused.
A statement by Ekweremadu’s media adviser, Uche Anichikwu, yesterday in Abuja said the Deputy President of the Senate spoke when the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) visited him at the weekend.
Ekweremadu said: “Giving subvention to political parties was the case in the past, but we had to amend the constitution to remove that. It was thoroughly abused by some people. They register a political party and wait for election. Government gives them subvention; they put it in their pockets and make no efforts to win. To them, political parties are platforms for making cool money from the government.”
Rather than government funding, he urged political parties to agitate for the introduction of proportional representation to widen political representation in the legislature, which would in turn help smaller political parties to thrive.
Ekweremadu said the National Assembly was holding consultations with some critical stakeholders to ensure a smooth sail of the constitution amendment exercise and an outcome that will be in tune with the aspirations of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Primary Health has ordered the suspension of the Federal Government’s plan to build new primary health centres in each of the wards across the country until the relevant agency provides details about the funding of such project.
It said that such policy was not economically viable now due to lack of funds