The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the leadership of the National Assembly to explain how lawmakers have been spending the budget allocated to them yearly.
The labour body made this call in a courtesy visit to Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
Speaking to Senator Saraki, Ayuba Wabba, the president of the congress, asked that the National Assembly make an explanation to Nigerians on how it has spent about N600 billion that has been allocated to it from 2011 to date, PM News reports.
He said that the budget of the National Assembly had increased from N66.488 billion to N104.825 billion in 2008, before dropping marginally to N96.052 billion in 2009, while noting that the budget skyrocketed to N154.2 billion in 2010.
According to Wabba, the National Assembly budget was put at N150 billion from 2011 to 2014, before it was reduced to N115 billion in 2015.
Senate President Bukola Saraki
He said: “Nigerians are concerned and want explanations on how the National Assembly budget, which in 2003 was N23.347 billion, rose to N66.488 billion in 2007 and then climbed to N104.825 billion in 2008.
“In 2010, Your Excellency, under the watch of your predecessor, the budget of the National Assembly reached an all-time record jump to N154.2 billion.
“To compound the problem of comprehension, your predecessors, obviously working with your colleagues in the Red and Green Chambers, wrapped your earning and expenditure in utmost secrecy.
“And by 2011, the details of the National Assembly budget were no longer accessible, having used your legislative powers to move it into first-line charge on the Federation Account like the Judiciary, Independent National Electoral Commission, Universal Basic Education and the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2007.
“By 2011, all that appeared under the National Assembly budget was N150 billion without any breakdown.”
Wabba however asked the National Assembly to strengthen anti-corruption laws to deal with any public official who stole government funds.
The report comes days after former Senate President David Mark dismissed claims that the budgets and salaries of senators and members of the House of Representatives were furtive.
According to him, the National Assembly while he was in power, was bold, courageous and transparent.