After much criticism and public outcry by Civil Societies and human right Activists, Bukola Saraki, Senate President on Friday released details of 2018 budget of the National Assembly.
Saraki on his Twitter page released breakdown of the budget.
The 45-page document shows that a total of N139,500,000,000 was budgeted for the National Assembly in the year 2018.
Of the N139 billion earmarked for the legislature, N35 billion was the total for the senate, while the house of representatives had N57 billion.
While legislative aides got N10 billion, the national assembly office and commission got N15 billion and N2 billion respectively.
The national assembly legislative institute got N4 billion while N1.1 billion was appropriated for service wide vote of the legislature.
Saraki had tweeted,
“Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here: http://nass.gov.ng/document/download/10247 …
“This is in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly to accountability and transparency. #OpenNASS.”
BudgIT Nigeria, a civic tech organisation that claims to “raise the standards of transparency, citizen engagement and accountability most especially in public finance,” said that, since 2015, it had consistently demanded that the annual allocations of National Assembly be public.
BudgIT said that it does this alongside another civil society organisation, Enough is Enough Nigeria, which claims to promote a culture of good governance in the society.
BudgIT said via its verified Twitter handle, @BudgITng, that during a meeting with the Senate President on Thursday, the NGO had challenged Saraki to make it a legacy by “sealing the National Assembly with a legislation that makes it legally binding,” for it to make its annual budget public.
BudgIT said Saraki responded by re-assuring it that details of the National Assembly’s 2018/19 budgets would be made public.
“Saraki, yesterday at a dialogue session with BudgIT on appropriation process and constituency projects vowed that making the National Assembly appropriation public is now a permanent policy,” BudgIT said; expressing concerns if the policy would stand when Saraki leaves the National Assembly in May.