Sunday, March 13, 2016 6:22 pm
A new era may be here in Nigeria’s National Assembly, accused often for its secret and opaque budget and extravagance.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki said on Sunday that the budget breakdown of the lawmakers would be published next week.
Mohammed Isa, Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the senate president said Saraki made the disclosure while speaking with a team of editors of the London based magazine- the Economist.
Saraki, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly, said that publication of the details of the budget was in line with the anti-corruption stance of the 8th National Assembly.
He pledged that the legislature would not cover any form of corruption.
Saraki also said that the budget of the Senate which had never been made public before would be published in line with the anti-corruption stance of the Senate.
“For the first time we promised Nigerians that the Senate will disclose its budget breakdown, the committee will make its report available by next week.
“We are resolved to break the tradition of one line item,” he said.
Saraki said that the Senate would partner with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the success of the anti-corruption war.
He said that the red chamber had already demonstrated its commitment to anti-corruption through its unravelling of transaction fraud such as the management of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
He said that the investigation the senate conducted on TSA saved the country over N7 billion, stressing that the 8th Senate would not hinder or water down any allegation of corruption.
On the economy, Saraki said the Senate was doing all within its power to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
“It is only when the private sector thrives that the issue of unemployment will be addressed and the nation’s GDP will increase.
“Few days ago, we received a report on the laws that need to be amended in order of priority importance to ease doing business and private sector participation in the stimulation of Nigeria’s economy.
“We will soon commence the implementation of the recommendations in the report in addition to pushing for the amendment of the Procurement Act to protect our local industries,” he assured.
He allayed fears that the low prices of oil would have negative impact in the implementation of the 2016 budget, saying, “what we need to do is to block leakages and show more transparency.”
“Without blocking leakages even if oil was sold at more than 100 dollars per barrel, Nigeria will still continue to witness decline in revenue in-flow,’’ he said.