Saraki fails to re­lease N/As­sem­bly bud­get de­tails

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Mu­dashir, Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi & Ab­bas Ji­moh

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki has failed to make pub­lic the bud­get break­down of the Na­tional As­sem­bly de­spite sev­eral prom­ises to do so over the past few months.

Se­na­tor Saraki had made such prom­ises on at least four oc­ca­sions since Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari signed the bud­get in March.

The Na­tional As­sem­bly bud­get break­down was in the pub­lic do­main un­til 2010 when the leg­is­la­tors be­came se­cre­tive about it by mak­ing it a sin­gle line item.

Due to pub­lic crit­i­cisms and sus­tained cam­paign by rights groups call­ing for trans­parency in the fi­nances of the fed­eral law­mak­ing body, Saraki on sev­eral oc­ca­sions pledged to make the break­down of the leg­is­la­tors’ bud­get avail­able for pub­lic scru­tiny.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Civil So­ci­ety Leg­isla­tive Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre (CISLAC), Awwal Musa Raf­san­jani said the law­mak­ers would not make its bud­get pub­lic be­cause “that is where they mis­ap­pro­pri­ate funds.”

The Chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Rules and Busi­ness in the 5th Se­nate (2003 - 2007), Umaru Tsauri told Daily Trust yesterday fail­ure of Saraki to make the break­down of the bud­get pub­lic would leave room for ques­tions.

“The is­sue is at the dis­cre­tion of the se­nate pres­i­dent who is the chair­man of the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Since he has promised to make it pub­lic, let him ful­fil it. His re­fusal would be giv­ing room for peo­ple to ask him ques­tions,” he said.

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