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Recession: Don’t Sell Nigeria Assets, Cut Allowances, Falana Tells Legislators

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advised Nigerian Legislators to urgently cut their jumbo allowance instead of calling for the sale of assets to tackle the economic recession the nation is faced with.

Mr. Femi Falana (SAN)
Mr. Falana in a statement said the nation has never benefited from previous sale of assets because they were sold to political cronies cheaply.

He stressed that “If the Senate genuinely desires to contribute meaningfully to the debate on the economy, it should, as a matter of urgency, propose a substantial reduction in the jumbo emoluments of federal legislators which are said to be the highest in the world.”

Falana reminiscent that the official residence of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives were sold to Senator David Mark and Mr. Dimeji Bankole respectively at less than quarter of their true value.

He added that the Nigerian External Telecommunications building in Marina, Lagos, was sold to the father of a lawmaker for less than 10 per cent of its value.

Falana noted that since the legislators had sworn to put the nation first, they should strive to ensure impartial distribution of national wealth rather than impoverish the nation by selling the assets to few individuals.

“It is pertinent to point out that the suggestion is in total conflict with section 16 of the 1999 Constitution which has prohibited the concentration of the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few people or a group.

“Indeed, by virtue of section 44 of the constitution, the nation’s natural resources shall be held in trust for the Nigerian people by the Federal Government. One would have expected the senators who swore to protect the constitution to kick against the suggestion to sell the assets of the nation to a few people.

“But for selfish considerations, a few legislators who may be queuing up to participate in the purchase of the nation’s assets are not prepared to defend the constitution,” he said.


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