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Ex-minister canvasses improved budget for N’Assembly

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Professor Abubakar Suleiman

Former Minister of National Planning, Professor Abubakar Suleiman, has called for increment in the National Assembly budget, for effective representation.

He stated yesterday, that the current budget for the lawmakers and affiliated bodies of the National Assembly was not enough.

Suleiman, who is the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) spoke while giving an account of his two years stewardship at NILDS in Abuja.

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There are misconceptions about lawmakers and their earnings; hence the need to sensitise the public properly, he asserted, adding that “the most important part of democracy is the legislature,” which he insisted must be well funded.

According to him, NILDS is committed to putting the records straight by enlightening the masses about legislative business; hence the institute’s decision to float a radio station.

“People don’t understand the workings of the National Assembly in terms of budgetary allocation, and there is every need for people, especially those at the grassroots, to understand, which is why we have got a licence to set up democracy radio. The radio, which will soon take off, would enlighten people about this,” he said.

Suleiman also faulted calls for part-time legislature in Nigeria, arguing that the high cost of governance in the country had nothing to do with the National Assembly, whose budget “is nothing compared to that of the executive arm of government.”

According to the NILDS DG, the institute trained over 70 staff, locally and internationally, within his first six months in office, a development he said was a motivational and deliberate measure towards achieving effective result.

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