The debate on the appropriation Act 2009 entered its third allotted day yesterday with continued agitation by MPs for their welfare, and the Le 23 billion allocated to the National Revenue Authority came under questioning.
The questioning of the budget first came from Hon Mani Betts Priddy of APC who said the NRA had a unique salary with a huge budget.
The second was from Hon Victoria Saidu of APC who posed that the country has deliberately created an elitist group and that a group of people believe they are superior to others.
She continued that the NRA was creating a situation in the country that would create chaos but she admitted she was not around during the creation of the NRA to have understood the argument why an empire was created within a state. “And today the system continues to encourage that. If we look at the fact that we cannot service some sectors of the economy and cannot provide basic needs of Parliament but we can provide Le 23 billion for the National Revenue Authority”.
Hon Saidu disclosed that equal opportunity and benefit should be given to all but expressed dissatisfaction saying “I completely disagree with this system and I hope our comments will be taken into consideration so that we will look at this issue of the NRA”.
It was not like the deputy Majority leader Hon Sheku Badara Bashir Dumbuya of APC agreed with the contributions of Hon Victoria Saidu. He intervened by stating that “regrettably and perhaps understandably, the Honorable Member did say that she was not here when the bill was passed that is why I want to agree with you that reference should be made to the bill”
He continued by supporting that there was every justification for the creation and subsequent establishment of the NRA.
“We are saying that corruption has become endemic in the system. If it is to be curtailed, if it is to be curbed, if the problem is to be alleviated, it is but necessary that those in certain places will enjoy financially so that they will be less corrupt”
He furthered stated that the country had been donor dependent for a very long time and the continuance of it surrenders ones sovereignty and independence.
Having said that, he went on “I will not support anybody including the Ministry of Finance who tries to stifle Parliament by denying Parliament what is due it that is why I would want to agree with Hon Mani Betts Priddy that something must be done to evolve Parliament…our supremacy and the enhancement of our status”
The Appropriation Act debate continues today.
By Ishmael Bayoh