Budget details to be published next week –Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki has expressed the determination of the National Assembly to make the details of its annual budget available to members of the public next week.
Saraki said the development would be a departure from the tradition of having one line item budget by the federal parliament.
The Senate President, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Muhammed Isa, on Sunday, stated this while hosting a team of editors from the London-based The Economist newspaper
He said, “For the first time, we promised Nigerians to give out our budget breakdown. The committee will make its report available by next week. We are resolved to break the tradition of one line item.”
He also pledged to support the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.
“Under my watch, the Senate will never cover corruption except if the information didn’t come to us,” he added.
Saraki stated that the Senate was ready to partner Buhari to ensure the success of the anti-corruption war.
The Senate, he added, had already demonstrated such commitment through its interventions in many alleged corrupt transactions such as its swift investigation and adoption of a report on the management of the Treasury Single Account that saved the nation about N7bn.
He added that the upper chamber exposed the inconsistencies in the 2016 budget.
The action, he said, was a departure from the past where such reports were either watered down or not presented for debate and adoption.
He cited the report he presented to the seventh Senate on the over N1tn fuel subsidy scam that never saw the light of the day, as an example.
Saraki noted that party differences existed between the senators, citing the example of the leadership tussle in the chamber. He, however, pledged that, national interest and the desire of each senator to fulfil the promises made to Nigerians had become the guiding principle of the lawmakers.
On the economy, he said the Senate had embarked on a series of legislative interventions to create a conducive environment for the private sector.
He stated, “It is only when the private sector thrives that the issue of unemployment will be addressed and the nation’s GDP will increase.”