By Akeem Abas
Rep. Abiodun Olasupo (APC- Iseyin/Iwajowa/Kajola/Itesiwaju Federal Constituency) says the bill on whistle blowing is at an advanced stage of being passed by the National Assembly.
Olasupo also said the National Assembly was working hard to ensure that all enabling laws protect the identity of whistle blowers and strengthen the principle.
The federal lawmaker spoke in Iseyin during a routine tour of his constituency to inaugurate projects and brief constituents.
“You should not be surprised that all the measures used in the anti-corruption crusade today were developed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
“The Jonathan administration developed the policies of whistle blowing, Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) but lacked the political will to implement them.
“You can see that the implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is bringing the desired results,’’ he stated
Reacting to the N125 billion National Assembly Budget for 2017, he said that the budget was only N10 billion above that of 2016.
The lawmaker stated that the increment in the budget was not limited to the National Assembly alone, but also affected the State House, Judiciary, Nigeria Customs Service and other parastatal agencies.
“When the 2017 Appropriation Bill is signed into law by the president or Acting President, it would be accessible to all and you will see that it was increased across board.
“When you look into the budget and do the analysis properly, I am sure you will believe that the National Assembly is one of the most poorly funded arms of this government.
“For the first time in the history of the nation, the eighth National Assembly made the details of the budget public and you will see a budget of economic recovery.
“The old, present and future National Assembly members should know that legislatures the world over cannot win popularity contest when it comes to budgeting,’’ he said.
Appraising the implementation of the 2016 budget, Olasupo said it was the first time the budget of the country passed the threshold of N1 trillion in terms of capital expenditure.
He said that apart from this, funds were judiciously used in spite of the nation’s low income.
The lawmaker also said that it was the first time in a long while that there was a budget of less than 30 percent capital expenditure and over 60 percent recurrent expenditure.
“This is a very good development for the nation and I am sure that by the time
the 2017 budget is fully implemented, we would be a little over 40 percent in terms of capital expenditure.
“When Buhari came on board, he said that he was looking forward to seeing more of the budget going for capital expenditure and lower recurrent expenditure,’’ he said.
Olasupo, however, dismissed the speculations that there was a face-off between the executive and the National Assembly.
“It might look like we are antagonising each other but that is what we are meant to be doing. It is out of this that we put many things in the right shape.
“The separation of power principle entrenched in the constitution encourages checks and balances.
“What the people are seeing is democracy in action. This will not affect the development of the nation.
“ Nigerians should not be afraid, we are doing what the law empowers us to do,’’ he said.
The lawmaker, however, promised not to relent in giving the quality representation required of him in the National Assembly. (NAN)