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NASS got N139 billion in 2018 budget, reveals Saraki


[FILES] Senate President Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

As Ekweremadu Urges Next Assembly To Close Ranks
The National Assembly has released documents containing its 2018 budget. The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, released the document yesterday on his verified tweeter handle.The document indicated that a total of N139,500,000,000 was budgeted for the National Assembly (NASS) in 2018. Of that amount, N35.58 billion was meant for the Senate while the House of Representatives got N57.4 billion.

Others include N10,202,095,928 budgeted for legislative aides; N15,389,235,912 budgeted for the NASS office; and N2,736,081,266 budgeted for the National Assembly Commission. Also, the National Assembly Legislative Institute got N4,373,813,596, while N1,145,143,254 was appropriated for service-wide vote of the legislature.

This is as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that the 9th National Assembly would rise above political, religious and ethnic divides to address the myriads of challenges facing the Nigerian people. Ekweremadu spoke on Thursday night during the dinner to mark the end of the orientation programme organised for the members-elect of the incoming NASS in Abuja.
The lawmaker, who described the NASS as a microcosm of Nigeria, observed that bringing together the members-elect from across the country had not only helped them to garner basic legislative knowledge, but also to familiarise with one another and better appreciate the peculiar challenges faced by various parts of the country.

“We may all have come in different vehicles as represented by our various political parties, but poverty and hunger faced by the masses of Nigeria have no political party. We may profess different religions, but the insecurity, killing our people has no religion,” Ekweremadu said. He submitted that it was imperative that members work as a team for peace, justice, equity and national prosperity irrespective of political leanings and diversities.

The release of budget details of the NASS was sequel to persistent pressure on the Senate by a non-governmental organisation specialised in budget monitoring, transparency and financial matters, BudgIT. Saraki, on his verified Twitter handle @SPNigeria on Friday, in a tweet publicly addressed to BudgIT Nigeria, said: “Dear @BudgITng: “Find the details of the 2018 Budget of the National Assembly here: …“This is in accordance with the commitment of the leadership of the 8th National Assembly to accountability and transparency. #OpenNASS.” BudgIT Nigeria had said that since 2015, it had consistently demanded that the annual allocations of the NASS be made public.

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