Finally, NASS Succumbs, Make Its 2016 Budget Public

Finally, the National Assembly on Wednesday succumbed to pressure from Nigerians by fulfilling it’s promise and made public its 2016 budget of N115 billion.

This is the first time that the federal lawmakers will yield to popular demand by the stakeholders and make its budget public.

It would be recalled that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had promised Nigerians last week that the National Assembly would this week make its budget public in the spirit of accountability and transparency.

From the released figures, the House of Representatives is to receive the lion’s share of the 2016  National Assembly’s N115billion budget.

In the 2016 Budget presented to the joint sitting of the Senate and the House by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 22, N115 billion was allocated to the National Assembly without a breakdown the details of the allocations to both chambers.

The bulk allocation to the federal lawmakers began in 2011 and, since then, the lawmakers had resisted demands for a breakdown of allocations to both chambers, just as they rebuffed calls for transparency in its annual spending.

The draft budgetary allocations to the federal lawmakers show that of the N115billion allocated, N105.4 billion has been earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while N9.6 billion is slated for capital projects.

The draft breakdown, which is expected to be adopted by the Senate and House at plenary today, also shows that the 360-member House will get N47.2 billion. Of that figure, the proposed recurrent expenditure is N44.6billion while the capital expenditure is N2.7 billion.

The document also reveals that the personnel cost for the House is N4.9 billion while the overhead cost is N39.6 billion.

The proposed allocation to the Senate is N30. 2 billion and the breakdown shows that the upper house is expected to spend N3.3 billion on capital projects and N26.97billion on recurrent. Its personnel and overhead costs are put at N1,856,510,517 and N25,111,332,147 respectively.

The Public Accounts Committee of the Senate was allocated N115,008,000, while its House counterpart got N138,009,000.

The management arm has a total allocation of N11,625,392,906, with N10,048,616,823 as recurrent expenditure and N1,576,776,083 as capital votes. Its personnel cost is N6,372,434,997 and overhead

cost N3,676,181,826. The sum of N9458,800,803 was allocated for General Services, and when broken down, the recurrent profile is N,669,079,143, while the capital expenditure profile stands at N789,721,660.

Other arms of the federal legislature that received allocations are National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) and the National Assembly Legislative Institute.

The NASC got N1,971,833,327 with N1,858,033,532 as recurrent expenditure and N113,799,795 for capital projects, while personnel cost is N810,084,566 and overhead, N1,047,950,966.

On its part, the NALI secured a total of N4,208,813,051 with N3,844,990,172 as capital and N363,822,879 as recurrent. A further breakdown shows that its personnel cost is 363,522,879 while overhead is N3,019,355,811. A total of N9,668,983,512 has been set aside for the legislative aides of the lawmakers, while the Service Order Vote is N374,405,631.

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