Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai has taken up the challenge thrown by House speaker Yakubu Dogara to make public his security votes and local government funds.
On Monday, he released details of what he spends on security votes as well as what he earns as governor and fires back Dogara to do same.
“There is no state government in Nigeria with a budget nearly as opaque as that of NASS. In March 2016, this National Assembly, led by its Chairman, promised to provide a detailed breakdown of the National Assembly budget. Nigerians are waiting,” he said.
El- Rufai and Dogara had at the closing session of a retreat for National Assembly members in Kaduna, exchanged words with El-Rufai challenging the National Assembly to make its budget public while Dogara in his remarks seized the opportunity and challenged state governor to make public what they get as security vote and as allocations to local governments.
El- Rufai in a statement yesterday signed by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, said he welcomes the challenge posed by Dogara as a necessary step to improve and strengthen democracy.
He said the budgets of all state governments in Nigeria are detailed out and are usually presented under the headings of personnel costs, overhead, and capital expenditure unlike the budget of the National Assembly which he said is a single line item of over N100 billion that divulges zero information or details.
The governor said the National Assembly can at least break down its own single line budget into the hundreds of line items that are detailed in every state government budget in Nigeria and said it is disingenuous for Dogara and other National Assembly leaders to respond to every request for transparency by casting aspersions.
“On our part, the Kaduna State government has consistently made public all its budget details. In 2016, in an unprecedented step, the state published not only its own budget, but also that of all the 23 Local Government Councils online on the www.openkaduna.com.ng website.
“The Local Government budgets provide details of the recurrent and capital spending of every single LG in a transparent manner. The proposed 2017 LG Budgets, currently before the State Assembly, are also already online on the same website, and on www.kdsg.gov.ng. Approved State Budgets 2016-2017 can be found on http://openkaduna.com.ng/Budget/approved-budget.
“We invite the Right Honourable Speaker to download and peruse at his pleasure.”
The governor said as regards Security Votes, the details of spending priorities as contained in the Kaduna Comprehensive Security Architecture (KADCoSA) shows the State is directing security spending on Justice, Technology, Community Engagement and Support to Security Agencies.
He said in 2017, N1.5bn has been budgeted for the Procurement & Installation of CCTV Cameras for Monitoring and Surveillance towards Reducing Criminal Activities within the Metropolis while. N193m is for Procurement of Geo-position Interceptor and location of GSM UMTS System to Check the Trends and Intercept/locate kidnappers’ GSM calls.
He said N265m has been budgeted for the Procurement of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to identify locations of armed bandits in our Forest Reserves across the state and the Establishment of a Forensic Laboratory to assist in determining substantial evidence in cases that otherwise proved difficult in the past., while N2.6bn has been allocated in 2017 to support the network of federal Security Agencies in Kaduna with communications, logistics and materials.
He said the 2015 accounts of the Kaduna State Government have been audited, and the audit summary published in major newspapers and on the state website on 21st June 2016. The Accountant-General’s report for 2016 has been finalized and its audit is ongoing and will be published as usual and that the audited state government accounts can also be found on its website.
El-Rufai also released details of what he earns as governor revealing that his gross monthly salary stands at N555,926.74, while the met stands at N470,521.74.
He said this reflects what the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission approved as the salary and allowances of every State Governor adjusted to reflect provision in-kind of accommodation and transportation.
The governor then reiterated his call for the National Assembly leadership to publish the details of the National Assembly budget, and the salaries and allowances of its leadership.
He said, “The call to #OpenNASS is not a personal one. It is one which the leadership of the National Assembly owes to all Nigerians. It is therefore disingenuous for the Speaker to use State Government budgets as the excuse for the opacity of the NASS budget.
“In 2016, the NASS budget for its 469 members was larger than thecapital budget of Kaduna State, with close to 10 million inhabitants. It is also larger than the entire budget of several Nigerian States. Indeed, over the past ten years from 2008, the NASS as an institution has cost the country over a trillion naira without any detail on how this amount was allocated and spent.