… N15.97bn to manage national assembly
The 9th National Assembly gets an allocation of N85.26billion in the 2021 budget statutory transfer and N15.95billion to maintain the national assembly, according to a document accessed by Western Post.
The breakdown revealed that the Senate was allocated N33.27 billion while the House of Representatives gets N51.99billion statutory transfer in the recently approved 2021 budget.
The Senate on Monday increased 2021 budget from N13.08 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in October to N13.58 trillion.
This shows an increase of about N505 billion.
The passage was a sequel to the presentation of a report by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin.
In his presentation, the lawmaker recommended that N496.5 billion be approved for Statutory Transfers (a category into which the National Assembly budget falls) – which was adopted.
However, a statement available to Western Post from the 9th National Assembly stated that President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, have keyed into ending the culture of secrecy that has historically surrounded the budget of the country’s highest legislative making body.
According to the statement, “For the first time since the inception of the 9th National Assembly, the subheads and breakdown of allocations to the federal Legislature’s different arms are available to the public as seen in the draft budget passed by federal lawmakers on December 21, 2021, and published in the Order Paper of the House of Representatives of the same day.
“In recent time, only the total budget of the National Assembly has been known to the public as a single line item under Statutory Transfers. The National Assembly has gone further to breakdown its budget under the same Statutory Transfers.
“We now have details of the amount spent on the NASS bureaucracy; amount spent on the Senate (bureaucracy, facility management, Senate Services and programmes; salaries and allowances etc.); amount spent on the House of Representatives (bureaucracy, facility management, House Services and programmes; salaries and allowances etc.); amount spent on the National Assembly Service Commission; amount spent on the training, salaries and allowances of legislative aides; amount spent on the Public Accounts Committee of the Senate and the House; General Services; amount spent on the Research/Academic arm of the National Assembly – National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS); Service Wide Votes of the National Assembly; and contributions to the retirement benefits of former Clerks and Permanent Secretaries of NASS.”
The statement added that, “The NASS breakdown is obviously in line with the pledge made by the NASS leadership to ensure greater openness and accountability, notwithstanding that the Clerk to National Assembly is the Chief Accounting Officer and administrator of the finances of the National Assembly.”