Some lawmakers in the House of Representatives are reportedly lobbying the leadership of the National Assembly and powerful forces in the Presidency to be admitted into the Appropriation Committee of the Green Chamber.
Vox9ja gathered that the membership of the committee has increased in the last few weeks, which is said to be against the House rules and has caused discontentment in the lower chamber.
It was learned that the membership of the Appropriation Committee had risen from the statutorily allowable figure by house rules of a maximum of 40 members to 57 members.
According to Leadership, some chairmen and deputies of other Standing Committees of the House have been admitted as members of the committee.
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
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“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.”
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