BudgIT to Saraki, Dogara: Make NASS 2019 Budget Public

Enterprise Network- to Saraki, Dogara: Make NASS 2019 Budget Public National Assembly

BudgIT to Saraki, Dogara: Make NASS 2019 Budget Public

A civic organisation, BudgIT has asked the leadership of the National Assembly to make details of its 2019 budget open, showing a line-by-line breakdown of allocation.

The organisation stated that the annual budget of the National Assembly has remained a one-line statutory transfer which is neither reviewed by any authority nor, at the very least, made accessible to the public thus enabling unbridled corruption.

BudgIT’s Principal Lead, Gabriel Okeowo, in a statement, said  opening the 2019 budget of the lawmakers was the ultimate way the legislature could lead by example in making public accountability a culture in the country.

According to the statement, it is an irony that the budget of the lawmakers has continued to defile public scrutiny.

“At this age of digital governance plus global calls for transparency in public institutions, it is a national disrepute that the parliament has refused to eschew anti-democratic practices, as it continues to bury its yearly allocations under the hallowed chambers.

“That Nigeria’s National Assembly, an arm of government that supposedly upholds accountability, has remained an impregnable black box which defies public scrutiny is an irony of all ironies.

“Aside from the lawmakers being ranked as world’s top-paid legislators, at public expense, the annual budget of the National Assembly is a one-line statutory transfer which is neither reviewed by any authority nor, at the very least, made accessible to the public thus enabling unbridled corruption.

“At this age of digital governance plus global calls for transparency in public institutions, it is a national disrepute that the parliament has refused to eschew anti-democratic practices, as it continues to bury its yearly allocations under the hallowed chambers,” the statement read.

It said more disappointing is the fact that, despite Nigeria’s membership in Open Government Partnership and tons of pledges by Senate President Bukola Saraki to run an “open NASS,” the National Assembly immediately relapsed into its default setting after a breakdown of the budget was made public in 2017 because of public pressure.

“Asserting that the 2017 record must be made permanent, we are making a renewed demand from the leadership of the eighth assembly to fully redeem its promise. Starting again with the 2019 budget, a line-by-line breakdown of the NASS allocation must be made public going forward.

 

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