el-Rufai, Dogara trade tackles over lawmakers’ allowances, security votes

el-Rufai, Dogara trade tackles over lawmakers’ allowances, security votes
April 08 11:36 2017

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state on Friday dared the leadership of the National Assembly to disclose their budgetary allocation, salaries and allowances to Nigerians.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of National Assembly Management Retreat held in Kaduna, el-Rufai urged the lawmakers to be transparent with their finances to change the negative perception about them.

The governor also accused the Senate of deliberately frustrating the war against corruption.

“It is important that the National Assembly do something about its image. No transparency in your (NASS) budget; nobody knows your budget or how much you get paid. Publications are made about your salaries and allowances that I don’t believe are true but cannot be defended because there is no transparency about your budget, personnel cost and so on and so forth. I think you can do something about that to clear all the rumours and remove all the evil stories that are largely untrue.”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives,  Yakubu Dogara, however fired back, challenging governors, including el-Rufai, to disclose how much they are paid as security votes in their respective states.

He also dared the governors to tell Nigerians how they spend local government funds which they withhold under the guise of state/local government joint account.

“I will like to challenge him (el-Rufai) to champion this cause for transparency in the budgetary process from the National Assembly to other arms of government. The Judiciary first.

“We want to see clearly how chief executives of states… how they are paid. What do they spend monthly as security votes? And if they can publish what happens to local government funds under their jurisdictions, that will help our discussion going forward.”

The speaker added that the National Assembly had decided to make the 2017 Budget open to Nigerians.