Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced on Sunday that the breakdown of the 2016 National Assembly budget would be published next week.
According to the statement, Saraki who is the Chairman of the National Assembly, made the announcement while he spoke with a team of editors of The Economist, a London-based newspaper, saying that the publication of the budget details was in line with the anti-corruption position of the 8th National Assembly. He promised that no form of corruption would be condoned by the legislature.
He also pointed out that the 2016 National Assembly budget of the Senate which had never been made available to the public before would be published in accordance with the anti-graft standpoint of the Senate. He said, “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”.
The Senate President further stated that the Senate would work in partnership with President Buhari in order for the fight against corruption to be achieved adding that the Senate had already proved its dedication to Buhari’s anti-graft war by untangling and exposing fraudulent transactions like the management of the Treasury Single Account, TSA. He also disclosed that as a result of the investigation conducted by the Senate on TSA, the country was saved over N7 billion, re-emphasizing his pledge that the 8th Senate would neither obstruct nor water down any assertion of corruption.
Talking about the Nigerian economy, Mr. Saraki said that the Senate was doing everything within its jurisdiction to create a conducive environment for the growth and development of the private sector. According to him,
“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 diminished fears that the current low prices of oil would affect the implementation of the 2016 budget negatively, 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.”
The breakdown of the 2016 National Assembly budget has always been a very secret affair, thereby attracting harsh criticism from sections of the public over the salaries and allowances paid to the legislators.