Parliamentary trips a waste of public funds, says lawmaker

Parliamentary trips a waste of public funds, says lawmaker
The Parliament Building. Photo: Courtesy]

Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly legislature wants MPs hefty pay for overseas trips reduced significantly, saying that the allowances are unnecessary burden to citizens.

Juol Daniel Nhomngek said it is a shame to prioritise spending money on trips abroad instead of serving the population.

He said members of parliament are spending a lot of money on trips at the expense of serving the citizens.

“In one trip to Indonesia, for example, about $385,000 was spent by six people,” Daniel said.

The lawmaker was reacting to Monday’s incident where a parliamentary session failed to take place due to lack of power at the Freedom Hall.

Daniel further said that the current state of affairs shows there is a conflict between personal and public interests.

He criticized why citizens are not being provided with live coverage of the parliamentary proceedings.

 “We need to change the modality, we are using the resources of the public and yet the public doesn’t even know what is happening in the parliament because the national television is not even covering parliamentary proceedings,” Daniel lamented.

“We will never make significant reforms in this country unless the citizens are aware of their rights.”

Daniel stressed the need for government to be transparent in its expenses. He said the National Revenue Authority had collected SSP 24 billion between January 2022 and April 2022.

He said there is gross mismanagement of resources that are mostly needed to facilitate service delivery to the citizens.

“The issue of resources, they are being mismanaged and mismanagement is not like lack of resources,” Daniel said.

He said the public should be allowed to scrutinize the work of politicians.

“It should be the public to judge the politicians who are working well and with the public behind the politicians we can do anything.”