Cash crunch hits NASS; Senate forced to halt hearing on power probe

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Senate-412ABUJA—Cash crunch has hit the National Assembly and forced the Senate to put on hold the public hearing on power probe. According to a Senator, who did not want his name mentioned, the cash crunch was also largely responsible for crippling oversight activities of the various committees in the Senate and House of Representatives.

It will be recalled that Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had last month announced a 13-man ad hoc committee to carry out a holistic investigation into the management of funds appropriated to the power sector since the Olusegun Obasanjo’s civilian administration.Making reference to the cash crunch being experienced in the National Assembly, a member of the Senate’s ad hoc committee on power, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North), said the much-expected public hearing on power sector cannot hold for now due to non-availability of funds to run it.

It was also gathered that the economic down turn being experienced in the country has hit the National Assembly and led to non-payment of August salary of the 469 federal lawmakers as at yesterday, September 17.

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa noted that the cash crunch had prevented lawmakers from carrying out their legislative functions effectively over the months.

About 2,500 legislative aides of senators and members of the House of Representatives, who were yet to be paid their salaries since June this year when their various principals employed them, protested two weeks ago.

They had alleged that based on information at their disposal, the N7 billion meant for the payment had been released to management of the National Assembly by the Ministry of Finance last month.

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