Ahead of the fulfillment of the promise to open the budget of the National Assembly to the Nigerian public, (#Opennass), the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has vowed to resign, if the 2017 budget that would be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, did not contain the details of the line by line disclosure of the budget of the National Assembly.
Saraki stated this through his Special Assistant on Social Media, Bamikole Omisore, in an exclusive message sent to Post-Nigeria, on Friday night.
Recall, that the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, had on Thursday, said the National Assembly would ensure that the 2017 budget is laid before Buhari for his assent, hopefully by next week.
“The line by line of the National Assembly Budget, a key part of the #Opennass, is a done deal. Will be laid with 2017 budget,” Saraki tweeted.
In a swift reply, Aye Dee, a vibrant Social Media Commentator, via his twitter handle said: “When shall we get a #PromiseKept hashtag for your personal promise to make the NASS budget open?”
Reacting, Omisore speaking on behalf of his boss, Saraki, insisted that the 2017 budget that is yet to be submitted to the President for his assent, will be laid side by side with the details of the National Assembly budget, or he will resign.
“You should. If the 2017 National budget is passed, and you don’t have line by line budget of the National Assembly, I will resign, #Opennass”, he tweeted.
Post-Nigeria recalled, that Saraki came into office in June 2015, promising accountability and transparency; promising to open the budget of the National Assembly to the public.
With N23.347 billion in 2003, the National Assembly’s budget now stands at about N115 billion, representing over 492 percent rise in 13 years.
Until 2016, the budget had often gone as high as N150 billion.
In 2010, when the budget hit a shocking record sum of N154.2 billion, David Mark, Saraki’s predecessor, decided to block Nigerians from knowing details of how the National Assembly’s jumbo allocations were spent, especially how much members earned in allowances, thus, wrapping up the Federal Legislators’ finances in utmost secrecy.
Saraki clinched the Senate leadership position in June 2015, months after Buhari was inaugurated as Nigeria’s President.