House Deputy Speaker, Lasun Says National Assembly’s N150bn Budget Justified
The newly elected deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, has defended the annual budget of N150 billion for the National Assembly since 2010.
The amount was reduced to N120 billion in the 2015 budget, in the face of dwindling federal revenue.
Mr. Lasun said the N150 billion which many Nigerians have criticised is not much compared to the entire budget of Nigeria.
He said the National Assembly amount is less than three percent of the total budget of the federal government.
According to him, the legislature is a separate arm of government with its own peculiarities.
Meanwhile Mr. Lasun has said he does not have any plan to resign his position having been elected by the members of the House.
He stated this during a chat with journalists in Abuja shortly after he inaugurated a 37-member Ad-hoc Committee on Welfare set by the House.
Mr. Lasun, who represents Irepodun/Olorunda/Osogbo/Orolu federal constituency of Osun State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was elected on June 9. He defeated Mohammed Monguno from Borno State by 203 votes to 153.
However, following the controversy surrounding the election of the National Assembly leadership, there were speculations that the deputy speaker was under pressure to quit his position to pave way for Femi Gbajabiamila to occupy the position.
Mr. Gbajabiamila had lost the election for the position of the Speaker to Yakubu Dogara.
Some legislators from the South West zone had allegedly met him to ask him to yield his place to Mr. Gbajabiamila, former minority leader of the House, who is also from the same zone.
But Mr. Lasun said the story about his plan to resign was merely speculative.
“That is a speculation; why will I resign?” he asked. “I went through an election on the mandate of the Speaker (Yakubu Dogara).”