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We exposed budget padding to help anti-graft war, says Saraki


Senate President Bukola Saraki on arrival at the  Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for for the resumption of his trial for alleged false declaration of assets in Abuja Friday, March 11, 2016. PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo.

Senate President Bukola Saraki

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki weekend restated the commitment of the National Assembly under his watch to President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s war against corruption.

Speaking with a team of editors of the London based “The Economist” newspaper at the weekend, Saraki, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Mohammed Isa, said the Senate is ever ready to partner with President Buhari to ensure the success of the anti-corruption war.

The Senate, he said had already demonstrated such commitment through its interventions on many alleged corrupt transactions such as its swift investigation and adoption of a report on the management of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) that saved the nation about N7billion and the exposure of the inconsistencies in the 2016 budget.

The step, he said was a departure from the past, where such reports were either watered-down or not presented for debate and adoption.

He cited the report he presented to the last Senate on the over N1trillion fuel subsidy scam that never saw the light of the day.

In furtherance to the commitment, the Senate President said Nigerians would in the next few weeks be availed of the details of the National Assembly budget, which will be a departure from the tradition of having one line item budget.
“For the first time we promised Nigerians to give out our budget breakdown. The committee will make it report available by next week. We are resolved to break the tradition of one line item,” he assured.

Saraki said though party differences exist between the senators, citing example of leadership tussle, he, however, said national interest and the desire of each senator to fulfil the promises made to the Nigerian people have become the guiding principle of the senate in their team work.

On the economy, he said the Senate has embarked on series of legislative interventions to create a conducive environment for the private sector, as he said, “it is only when the private sector thrives that the issue of unemployment will be addressed and the nation’s GDP will increase.”

“Few days ago, we received a report on the laws that need to be amended in order of priority importance to ease doing business and overall private sector participation in the stimulation of Nigeria’s economy. We will soon commence the implementation of the recommendations in the report in addition to pushing for the amendment of the Procurement Act to stimulate and protect our local industries,” he assured.

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