The House of Representatives on Wednesday said Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria is entitled to hold an opinion regarding the performance of National Assembly members.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, stated this while briefing reporters on Wednesday in Abuja.
Namdas was reacting to Buhari’s uncomplimentary comment about the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday when he came down hard on the members of the National Assembly.
He also said unlike the previous administrations, he made the highest provision for capital projects, N1.3 trillion in the budget he took to the Assembly.
“Let anybody come and confront me publicly in the National Assembly. What have they been doing?
“Some of them have been there for 10 years. What have they been doing?” he asked.
As for the president’s remarks, Namdas said ”we believe that the President can hold an opinion as regards the performance of individual members of the national assembly”.
“In fact, our constituents have been doing just that – members of the National Assembly have been replaced by their constituents as a result of such opinions.
“However, we want to believe that the President was not questioning the role of the National Assembly as an institution of democracy because that will be a worrying sign that our democracy will be in peril.”
Speaking on the 2017 budget, Namdas said that the budget was meant to run for 12 months and that nobody had been short-changed.
“Off course, we had passed this budget earlier, and I can tell that the level of performance will not be here at the moment.
“The budget is a law; even, this 2018 budget that was just passed by the National Assembly, we stated clearly that it should run for 12 months.
“So, even if we had passed the budget earlier than now, it cannot take effect until we amend that aspect of the 12 calendar months,” he explained.
The lawmaker also commended the President for last year’s budget and the 2018 Appropriation Bill, saying that he put N1.2 trillion for capital.