Despite public criticisms against National Assembly’s huge budget, AFRIPOST gathered that the 8th Assembly has increased its budget from N115bn in 2016, to an aggregate of N125bn this year.
In the budget President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives December 2016, the sum of N125bn, was proposed, showing a difference of N10bn, an amount that could fund some MDAs for a year.
The breakdown of the proposed budget shows a total sum of N23, 789, 787, 880 as total personnel costs, the sum of N85,878,619,888 as total overhead costs while the sum of N14,940,196,063 has been earmarked for capital projects.
Further breakdown also shows that the House of Representatives has the highest budget of N49,052,743,983 with the Senate coming close with the budget of N31,398,765,886.
The National Assembly Management is to spend the cumulative sum of N14,919,065,013 while the Legislative Aides are to receive the sum of N9,602,095,928.
Despite the regular budgets of huge sums of money for the legislative aides, there has been strong allegations of nonpayment of DTAs and other allowances by the management, since the beginning of the 8th Assembly in 2015.
Just last week, Mr. Olutoye Ibitoye, one of the arrowheads in the agitation for payment of outstanding allowances to legislative aides, was arrested by the DSS, for attempting to organize protest against the National Assembly leadership and Management.
Also in the 2017 National Assembly budget, the National Assembly Legislative Institute is expected to spend the sum of N4,373,813,596; the National Assembly Service Commission will spend the sum of N2,415,712,873; while the sum of N391,396,169 is budgeted for Service-Widw Vote.
The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives, in the proposed budget, shall spend the sum of N142,764,258; its Senate counterpart shall spend N118, 960,215 while a whooping sum of N12,584,672,079 has been tagged “General Services”.
Since its inception in 2015, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is the chairman of the National Assembly, repeatedly assured that, henceforth, the details of its budget would be made known to Nigerians as part of the efforts to ensure transparency in its operations.