“The Attraction Is Obvious” As Lawmakers Lobby To Join Appropriation Committee 

There has been a report that certain lawmakers in the House of Representatives are attempting to get admittance into the Green Chamber’s Appropriations Committee by lobbying the National Assembly’s leadership and other influential figures in the Presidency.
The lower house is reportedly unhappy about the committee’s growing membership in recent weeks, which is against the House rules.
It was gathered that the Appropriation Committee now has 57 members instead of the 40 that house rules statutorily permitted.
Some chairmen and deputies of other Standing Committees have reportedly been admitted as committee members, according to Leadership.
The newspaper said the lawmakers joined the committee because of the juicy opportunities its membership attracts, especially in terms of financial rewards and opportunities to smuggle projects into the budget for pecuniary gains.
However, the House Rules disallow chairmen and deputies of other standing committees to serve as members of the committee on appropriation.
It was gathered that two chairmen of two other standing committees have already found their way into the committees, and Akwa-Ibom and Edo states have three members each.
The report said while Ebonyi has two members in the committee, which is in contravention of the House rules, some of the states have more than one member in the committee.
The appropraition committee, by the rules, is supposed to be made up of a chairman, a member from each of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), all appointed at the caucus meetings of the states.
It is understood that the committee is established by the standing orders of both chambers of the National Assembly, as the House of Representatives has ten members.
The committee is vested with the jurisdiction to appropriate funds for the execution of government programmes and projects, as well as holding hearings on the budget as a whole.
A source in the green chamber told Leadership that members have seen and taken the Appropriation Committee as a lifeline for heavy personal enrichment.
The source said: “There are about 57 members in the Appropriation Committee of the House now, and with the emergence of some chairmen and deputies of other committees forcing their way into the committee contravenes the standing rules of the house. More members are still lobbying to come into the appropriation. With the prevailing trend, membership of the committee may go above 100.
“The attraction is obvious. It’s a lifeline of the NASS as members have the opportunity to make extra funds.
“The statutory members of the are now being sidelined and suffocated by the members who found their ways into the committee through the back doors. The committee is overloaded, and this development is generating fresh ripples in the House.”
Spokesman Of The Green Chamber Denies Report On Jostle For Appropriation Committee Members
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has denied the report that some lawmakers are reportedly lobbying to be admitted into the Appropriation Committee of the Green Chamber.
In a chat with Leadership over the weekend, the spokesman of the Green Chamber, Hon. Akin Rotimi, said the number of members of the appropriation committee has not increased.
He insisted that the composition of various standing committees of the House of Representatives was done in conformity with extant standing orders governing the operations of the lower assembly.
Rotimi added that the standing committees were composed in line with the career backgrounds, qualifications, and cognate experience of lawmakers, as well as the need to ensure geo-political balancing.
The House spokesman also revealed that the standing orders of the house are also being revised and due for debate on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
He said, “The composition of the standing committees of the House have been done in sufficient compliance with the extant standing orders and in line with the career backgrounds, qualifications, and cognate experience of honourable members, as well as the need to ensure geo-political balancing.
“The standing orders of the house are also being revised and due for debate on Thursday. It is thus preemptive for these insinuations that are not based on a review of the accurate list of members of any committee, nor the yet-to-be-concluded revised standing orders that would guide the operations of the 10th assembly.”
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