Jumbo Pay: Reps Accept Ezekwesili’s Public Hearing Challenge

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The House of Representatives  has said  it welcomes the request for a public hearing  on the controversial jumbo pay of  its members and senators  by a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili.
Ezekwesili had  stated on Monday   that the National Assembly consumed over N1.1tr.  since 2005.
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She spoke at a dialogue on the “cost of Governance in Nigeria”, where her comments dwelt on the controversial jumbo pay of national lawmakers.

Twenty-four hours later, the Senate and the House reacted, accusing her of blackmail.
They also alleged that she  reeled  out false figures that failed to capture other variables, including capital projects and the cost of running the bureaucracy of the legislature, among others.
On Wednesday, she moved a step further, challenging the National Assembly to a public hearing on the issue.
She had,  said “I wish to state with absolute respect for our lawmakers and our institution that it will be more valuable and enriching for our democracy if instead of the abusive language in their recent reaction, the National Assembly  immediately offer me and the rest of the Nigerian public, the opportunity of a public hearing on their budgetary allocation and the very relevant issue of their remuneration.
“Doing so would be consistent with global practice across countries of the world, where emphasis is on tenets of Open Budget to enable citizens to track to the disaggregated level all use of public resources across every arm and level of government.”
On Thursday, the  House  said it was ready for the challenge but added that the former minister  had questions to answer.
A statement in Abuja by the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Victor Afam-Ogene, said because the legislature believed in transparency in governance,  “the 7th House of Representatives wholeheartedly welcomes her request for a public hearing on the stated ideals.”

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