Bolaji Owasanoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), says the executive arm of government in Nigeria is more corrupt than the legislative and judicial arms.
According to Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC spokesperson, Owasanoye made the comment while delivering a lecture at the induction for new legislators in Abuja.
Tagged “The legislature and fight against graft and corruption”, Owosanoye described corruption as the enemy of development and good governance.
Noting that Nigeria has the highest paid legislators representing the poorest people in the world, he said the national assembly budget had increased, over the years, for the same number of legislators without defensible legal or moral justification.
He added that the public perception of legislators as being corrupt will be sustained unless the assembly makes its yearly budget public.
“Corruption in the executive is far more than the legislature and judiciary combined. This is because the executive spends a far bigger chunk of the money appropriated,” Owosanoye was quoted to have said.
“This gives room for allegations of abuse and misappropriation of the funds. It is believed that we have the highest paid legislators representing the poorest people in the world.
“Since 1999, national assembly budget has increased without defensible legal or moral justification. Without increase in membership and addition of only one or two agencies, national assembly budget grew from N6.9 billion in 1999 to N139 billion in 2018.
“The problem is that it is just a single line item; the public is hardly told the breakdown and how it is used. The criticisms will disappear if we are told how it is spent.
“The Legislature must wake up to its role of oversight over Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to curb the menace.”
Responding, Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, said he had canvassed for a complete disclosure of the budget of the national assembly to put an end to the numerous accusations of corruption against members.