FIRST CLASS IMPUNITY! Nigerians Outraged As Saraki Release Details of 2018 NASS Budget…..See Full Budget For Reps, Senate
Following a public demand for accountability in the handling of the affairs of government, references has always been made to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
The FOI Act has always been quoted by citizens, organizations and civil society to government institutions and agencies to shares information with the public on how it runs affairs of government within its jurisdiction.
Recall that, a civic tech organisation known as BudgIT as consistently demanded since 2015 has consistently demanded that the annual allocations of National Assembly be made public.
It may have taken four years before this was done by the Bukola Saraki-led National Assembly but earlier today, the 2018 budget of the legislative arm was made public.
Saraki made the budget public today, announcing it in a tweet shared on the verified handle of the Senate President of Nigeria, @SPNigeria.
“Dear @BudgITng: Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here: http://nass.gov.ng/document/download/10247 … This is in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th @NASSNigeria to accountability and transparency. #OpenNASS,” the tweet read.
This is coming few days after Saraki had a round-table dialogue session with the BudgIT team at his office in the Three Arms Zone in Abuja.
Saraki assured the organisation that the 2018/19 budget of the National Assembly will be made public.
BudgIT made this known while sharing the development on its verified twitter handle.
The tweet reads: “Senate Pres. @bukolasaraki has re-assured that details of NASS 2018/19 budgets would be made public. Saraki, yesterday at a dialogue session with BudgIT on appropriation process and constituency projects, vowed that #OpenNASS is now a PERMANENT POLICY. Will this “policy” stand?”
The 45-page document shows that a total of N139,500,000,000 was budgeted for the National Assembly in the year 2018.
Of this sum, N35,582,085,699 was earmarked for the Senate, while the House of Representatives got N57,425,137,793.
Again, N10,202,095,928 was budgeted for legislative aides, the National Assembly office got N15,389,235,912, while the National Assembly Commission got N2,736,081,266.
The National Assembly Legislative Institute got N4,373,813,596, while N1,145,143,254 was appropriated for service-wide vote of the Legislature.
The release of the National Assembly budget comes few days after popular blogger and socio-political commentator, Japheth Omojuwa, shared his misgivings on the state of Nigeria’s legislative arm.
Omojuwa compared the expenses of the Nigerian Senate to UK’s House of Commons and the productivity of the two houses.
“The Nigerian Senate chamber looks 10 times bigger than the British House of Commons but they debate an economy almost 10 times Nigeria’s size, while the pay of the Nigerian Senator per year will sort at least 5 MPs in the House of Commons. Nothing much, just contradictions,” the tweet reads.