National Assembly presiding officers are entitled to official accommodation

Our attention has been drawn to a story published by an online media platform, Sahara Reporters, where it was alleged, without any shred of evidence as always  that presiding officers of  the  the National Assembly including  the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, collected money from the Federal Capital Territory Administration  (FCDA) for rent of their  official residences.

The report, which was credited to

 a group known as Citizen Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), deliberately set out to misrepresent and distort facts with the aim of blackmailing the persons of the presiding officers and the  Legislature as an institution.

Presiding officers  of the National Assembly are entitled to official accommodation which is provided for  by the FCDA as host of the National Assembly.The same is applicable to the President, Vice President and the Chief Justice of Nigeria because their offices were not covered by the monetisation policy. Consequently,  no National Assembly presiding officer receives any money from any other  source for accommodation or rent. 

The FCDA is solely responsible for providing official accommodation for presiding officers of the National Assembly and how it  goes about it is entirely its  business and not that of any presiding officer. It’s callous, wicked and evil for any news medium to seek to perpetuate the mendacity that National Assembly  Presiding  officers collected money from FCDA without any form of evidence whatsoever. The public should discountanace the story in its entirety unless of course the so called  Sahara Reporters put out evidence of the trace of any such funds to the Presiding officers. 

We challange those undertakers and merchants of lies for filthy lucre  to tell the Public which countries  of the world allows presiding officers of their Parliament to live in their personal houses. Certain officers of state were excluded from monetisation policy because of the nature of offices they hold that involves hosting certain level of official  guests and other sundry activities.  Should Nigeria’s case be different?

Turaki Adamu Hassan 

Special Adviser Media & Public Affairs 

January 31, 2017