Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai on Friday lambasted the National Assembly saying it lacks transparent budget.
He made the statement in his good will message at the closing ceremony of a 5-day retreat of the National Assembly management personnel in Kaduna state capital.
He expressed doubt whether the NASS particularly the Senate is in support of the fight against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “the National Assembly is seen as an opposition to the fight against corruption, the National Assembly particularly the Senate is seen as one of the fighters of the war against corruption and that image has to be worked on, now that we are going towards election year, the leadership and members of the National Assembly have to do something about the narratives.
“I don’t believe that it is entirely true, I also don’t believe it is entirely false but it is important that the National Assembly do something about its image”.
On the budget of the NASS, the governor posited that “no transparency in your (NASS) budget, nobody knows your budget, how much you get paid. Publications are made about your salaries and allowances that I don’t believe are true but cannot be defended because there is no transparency about your budget, personal cost and so on and so forth. I think you can do something about that to clear all the rumours and remove all the evil stories that are largely untrue” he stressed.
However, the Senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan who represented the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki countered the governor that the NASS fights corruption and support the fight against it at all levels of governance contrary to whatever he believes.
“In the National Assembly, we fight corruption through our support and as a matter of facts, the anti corruption agencies are our creation and for our budget, it is always at the public domain.
He said, the legislature and Executive must work together to deliver on promises to Nigerians, adding that, Nigerians expect higher and better performances in terms of service, as legislators we are prepared to continue to support the administration of President Buhari either through the fight against corruption or in the confirmation of political appointees, Nigerians will change the country if we fail to perform.”
Reacting, to the allegation of budgetary transparency of the NASS, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara told the Governor that instructions has already been given to the appropriate quarters to publish thet budget of the NASS.
“We are not happy with the statement of the governor that the budget of NASS is not transparent. You will have some kind of misfortune if you attempt to join issues with intellectuals but as intellectuals we expand issues and add discussion, so I will like to challenge you to champion the call for transparency in budgeting and budgetary process of NASS to other arms of government.
“We want to see clearly how Chief Executives of states are paid, what they spend monthly as security votes, and also publish what happens to local government funds” he challenged the governor,” Dogara said.
– Daily Trust