Economic recession and alleged poor release of funds have delayed the distribution of office equipment to the 360 members of the House of Representatives, findings by SUNDAY PUNCH have shown.
This has led to grumbling among lawmakers, who claimed that their work had been hindered by lack of office equipment.
The most affected are the 223 “fresh members,” elected to the National Assembly for the first and who resumed in June 2015. It was learnt that the equipment, worth about N350m, included television sets, computers and refrigerators, which were to be supplied through a contractor by the Committee on House Services since June.
The supplies were reportedly awarded not long after the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, appointed the 96 standing committees of the House on October 22, 2015.
But, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that due to delayed release of funds by the Ministry of Finance, the committee was unable to fund the supplies.
The delayed release of funds was attributed to a significant drop in Federal Government’s revenue and the “current recession, which has generally affected government’s finances across all levels of operations.”
It was learnt that the recession had also delayed the plans by the House to spend N3.6bn on luxury cars for lawmakers this year.
One of the lawmakers said, “As we speak, not a single office pin has been supplied to us since June 2016. I don’t have a television in my office, no stationery and computers. That is the condition we are expected to works.”
Another legislator also confirmed that their luxury cars had yet been delivered.
He stated, “We don’t have operational vehicles. It is over one year that the 8th Assembly was inaugurated.
“Those who have personal cars bring them to work, but the operational vehicles have become a mirage. We are expected to depend on the same agencies we supervise to provide vehicles for oversight visits.”