NASS holds public hearing on budget to curb padding,
To prevent a repeat of accusations that trailed the endorsement of last year’s budget proposals, the National Assembly (NASS) yesterday said it would be convening a public hearing to openly review this year’s appropriation act and seek stakeholders’ views on it.
The hearing is billed to hold between Monday, February 13 and Wednesday, 13 in Abuja. At a briefing in Abuja, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, said it was the decision of Senate and the House to openly scrutinise the Federal Government’s N6.04 trillion budget proposals for this year.
“This decision is to avoid a repeat of allegation of budget padding, as was the case last year. “Therefore, we have agreed to bring stakeholders to a roundtable in a public hearing that we hope to begin on Monday,” he said.
A suspended member of the House, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had shortly after the passage of last year’s budget by the House, accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara, four other principal officers and nine chairmen of committees of fabricating and injecting strange amounts into the budget.
Namdas said as embarrassing as it was, the legislature has this time, decided to make the budgetary process transparent, with active participation of the public and private sectors.
Among the 59 invited stakeholders, he said, are eight ministers, heads of departments and agencies, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), National Council for Women Society (NCWS) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).