President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has released details of National Assembly’s 2018 budget in public domain.
The budget showed that a total of N139,500,000,000 was budgeted for the National Assembly in the year 2018.
Of this sum, N35,582,085,699 was earmarked for the Senate, while the House of Representatives got N57,425,137,793.
Again, N10,202,095,928 was budgeted for legislative aides, the National Assembly office got N15,389,235,912, while the National Assembly Commission got N2,736,081,266.
The National Assembly Legislative Institute got N4,373,813,596, while N1,145,143,254 was appropriated for service-wide vote of the Legislature.
The release came on the heels of the pressure mounted on the Senate by Nigeria’s budget watchdog, BudgIT.
Saraki had taken to his verified Twitter handle @SPNigeria on Friday, in a tweet publicly addressed to BudgIT.
Saraki had tweeted,
“Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here:
“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.