Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has broken the National Assembly record, by endorsing the 2017 National Assembly budget open to the public, thereby ending 8 years of secrecy, instituted by his predecessors.
Recall, that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was among the agitators, among others, that the National Assembly budget be made open to the Nigerian public.
The decision was reached at the meeting of the joint leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which commenced late Monday, and ended moments after midnight, on Tuesday.
Following the resolution, the proposed 2017 budget of the National Assembly, is to be laid in both Houses on Tuesday, when the Lawmakers reconvene for business.
“It is now certain”, one source said, “the budget of the National Assembly will be laid this morning, the leaders of the National Assembly, Senate and the House of Representatives have decided. The Speaker was also here.”
The source did not however, disclose the total sum of the budget, which stood at N115 billion, in 2016.
Last week, Saraki, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly, renewed his promise to open the budget, saying it would be laid alongside the 2017 Appropriations Bill.
“The line by line of the National Assembly budget, part of the #Opnenass, is a done deal. (it) will be laid with 2017 budget”, Saraki had earlier tweeted.
Recall, that since 2010, Nigerians, including most of the Lawmakers, have been denied knowledge of the details of the finances of the National Assembly.
From N23.347 billion in 2003, the National Assembly’s budget increased to N115 billion in 2016, representing over 492 percent rise in 13 years. Until 2016, the budget had gone as high as N150 billion, under former Senate President, David Mark.
In 2010, when the budget hit a shocking record sum of N154.2 billion, Mark decided to block its details from the public, concealing how much members earned in allowances, especially.