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Petitioning Nigerian National Assembly

To open up the National Assembly budget to a level that provides full details and also to ensure that the National Assembly explains to Nigerians how N600bn budget was spent in the last four years.

The National Assembly is statutorily entitled to N150bn as a first line deduction, which means top priority is granted to the needs of Nigeria’s lawmakers. Regardless of the dynamics of Nigeria’s finances at the relevant time, the lawmakers get their allowances and salaries. The details of this transaction, as significant as the funds are, remain shrouded in secrecy; no public details exist on how the funds are spent and a proper audit is not made available to citizens. In the typical budget of most Ministries, including the Presidency, it is clear how much is budgeted for cutlery, travels and salaries. However, the National Assembly does not disclose a single item on how N150bn is spent and its budget is higher than individual budget of 23 states in Nigeria. Even more remarkable and inimical to our democracy is that the same respect accorded to the National Assembly where taxpayers’ monies are disbursed as a matter of priority into lawmakers’ pockets has not been accorded to Nigerians. Sixteen years and 5 elections into our democracy, no one seems ready to let the people know precisely how their money is being expended, much less if the lawmakers are providing value for money to the populace.    

 

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