Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has reiterated his commitment to making the financial dealings of the National Assembly more open and accessible to the general public.
In an interview with ChannelsTV, Saraki said the days of one line budgets for the National Assembly are long gone.
In recent times, Nigerians home and abroad have been canvassing for more accountability and transparency in government, Different youth groups who make up a large population of the country have been pushing for the National Assembly to explain how it spends its now reduced budget of N120bn.
Saraki’s interview appears to have put to rest the agitation, with the National Assembly Chairman stating that every expenditure and receipt will be broken down into relevant budget heads for easy tracking..
“By the time we come in to the 2016 budget at the end of the year, it will be even clearer because people just see one item line. But that is not going to happen now, you will see what goes to the Senate, what goes to the House of Reps, you are going to see what goes to management, what goes to Legislative Institute, we are going to make all these open and clear.”
“That is part of the openness we promised”, he said.
Since 1999, the financial dealings of the National Assembly, have been shrouded in secrecy, with its leadership stopping just short of labelling anyone who dared question it on the matter a traitor.
When Saraki became Senate President on June 9, in his inauguration speech, he promised “a change from impunity and elite arrogance to a life of accountability and respect for every citizen, regardless of tribe, gender, religion and political persuasion…we must justify the privilege of representation conferred in us by the people”
“As the President of the 8th Senate and chairman of the National Assembly, I shall be guided by the enormity of the responsibilities that this moment imposes on all of us”, he said.
Saraki in the Channels interview not only demonstrated his commitment to remaining accessible to the citizens on the dealings of the Assembly, but also his grasp of the needs of the people, with respect to the office he occupies.
BudgIT, A Nigerian civic tech organization took time out to appreciate the Senate President for his understanding and staying true to his promise that the National Assembly Budget needs transparency.
“For understanding and staying on his promise that National Assembly budget needs transparency, we thank SP Bukola Saraki” BudgIT said on twitter.
“Nigerians generally are optimistic that under Saraki, the Senate and indeed the entire National Assembly, will live up to the huge expectations entrusted in it.
Special Assistant New Media to
President of the Senate