The National Assembly has published a summary of the details of its 2017 budget which increased from N115 billion in 2016 to approximately N125 billion this year.
This is apparently in fulfillment of the assurances by both the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, that details of the lawmakers’ budget would be published beginning from the 2017 budget.
According to the document, the total personnel cost is put at N23,789,787,880, while total overhead cost stands at N85,878,619,888; and total capital cost, N14,940,196,063.
The exact amount of the National Assembly budget is N124,608,603,831.
However, in the document released by the Senate via its twitter handle, the summation of the personnel, overhead and capital costs, amounted to N125,000,000,000.
It is not clear how the figure was arrived at.
A further breakdown of the estimates shows that N14.9 billion was allocated for the management of the National Assembly; the Senate got N31.3 billion while the House of Representatives got N49 billion.
Also, the National Assembly Service Commission got N2.4 billion; N9.6 billion was allocated for legislative aides; Public Accounts Committee (Senate), N118.9 million; Public Accounts Committee (Reps), N142.7 million; general services, N12.5 billion; National Assembly Legislative Institute, N4.3 billion; and service wide vote, N391.3 million.
A copy of the summarised details of the National Assembly budget as released by the Senate via its twitter handle.
However, activists and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, that have continuously mounted pressure on the leadership of the National Assembly to open up its budget, are not satisfied with the document so far released as according to many of them, it did not show much.
But there are assurances by the senate that full line-by-line details of the legislative budget will be contained in the main 2017 budget document as the document that was released is only the summary.
After the budget had been passed in the upper legislative chamber, Senate President Bukola Saraki thanked the committee for a “job well done (which) enabled us record a number of firsts.”
“We had a joint public hearing for the first time and CSOs made recommendations.
“This is also the first time the line by line details of the NASS budget was laid down and made available. I am very proud,” Saraki said.
The Senate President also commended Nigerians “for their patience and understanding during the budget deliberations”, while also reserving commendation for the Executive arm of government for its cooperation and “the remarkable difference from the 2016 process.”
He expressed optimism “that this budget of recovery would go a long way and take us out of recession.”