The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has said corruption in the executive is far more than that of the legislature and judiciary combined.
He said this was because the executive spends a far bigger chunk of the money appropriated.
The anti-corruption agency boss also said that the public perception of the National Assembly members as being corrupt would not go away until the legislature throw open its yearly budget to the public.
The Spokesperson for the Commission, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, quoted Professor Owasanoye as stating this during a lecture at the 9th National Assembly induction programme for new legislators, in Abuja.
He stressed that the execution of the National Assembly budget, which has grown exponentially from N6.9 billion in 1999 to about N139 billion in 2018 for the same number of legislators has remained shrouded in secrecy, thereby giving room for allegations of abuse and misappropriation of the funds.
According to him, “It is believed that we have the highest paid legislators representing the poorest people in the world. Since 1999, NASS budget has increased without defensible legal or moral justification. Without increase in membership and addition of only one or two agencies, NASS budget grew from N6.9 billion 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.”