The Senate has published a budget of N125bn as the National Assembly’s projected spending for 2017.
This is the first time in many years that the National Assembly will be releasing to the public details of its spending for a fiscal year.
“This one (the breakdown) is just an advanced copy. The public will see everything line by line regarding NASS budget. That is historic,” he said
Speaking in the plenary, Dino Melaye said: “For the first, the budget contains full details of the National Assembly, not only line by line, but explicitly. I was happy when I saw NASS budget details in the document distributed to us this morning. This will afford civil society groups and every Nigerian to ask questions.”
This newspaper had on Tuesday broken the news that the joint leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives had decided to open up the NASS budget at a late Monday meeting held at the Abuja residence of Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The National Assembly raised its budget by N10 billion, to N125/billion.
In the breakdown of the National Assembly budget released by Mr. Abdullahi, the Management, Senate the House of Representatives are to receive N14,919,065013, 31,398,765,886 and 49,052,743,983.
Other appropriations under the National Assembly are as follows: legislative aides, 9,602,095,928; NASS Service Commission, 2,415,712,873; PAC-Senate, N118,970,215; N142,764,258; General Services, N12,584,672,079; NASS Legislative Institute, 4,373,813,596; and Service Wide Vote, 391,396,169.
The National Assembly also appropriated N2,987,550,033,436 for non-debt recurrent expenditure of the MDAs that are not under statutory transfers club.
Capital expenditure is slightly less, taking N2,177,866,775867.
For debt service, the National Assembly earmarked N1,488,002,436,547 to service domestic debts; N175,882,993,952 for foreign debts; and 177,460,296707 for sinking fund to retire maturing loans, totalling 1,841,345,727,206 for debt service.
The Clause 11 of the bill, referenced in the harmonized report, provides that the budget will run for a course of 12 months starting from the date is assented into law, in line with Section of the Constitution.
In his remark, Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, reckoned that the 2017 budget marked the first time capital expenditure would reach 30 per cent.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had promised to promote more transparency in the National Assembly upon his election as Senate President, and there have been repeated calls for him to keep that promise by making the budget of the legislative arm of government public, among other things.