By Chris Nomjov
The Nigerian Senate has pledged that the 2016 National Assembly budget would be more open and transparent.
This news would surely delight accountability group, BudgIT and citizens in general, and increase hopes of reduced salaries and allowances for the legislators.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the National Assembly would give a detailed breakdown of funds it would get in the 2016 budget.
“We have seen that the budget of the finances of the National Assembly is open now. The breakdown of what goes to the National Assembly is available.
“By the time we come into the 2016 budget by the end of the year, it will be clearer.
“You are going to see what goes to the Senate, House of Representatives, management, legislative study… We are going to be open and clear and that is part of the openness we have promised in the Senate,” Dr. Saraki stated.
Similarly, Senator Saraki spoke on the state of controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which he had championed in the 7th Senate.
He said that the Senate would soon begin work on the foot-dragged bill, but said the upper chamber would break the bill into several parts and pass them individually and not at once.
“The PIB is a priority to us. We will break the PIB into blocks. We are going to try and break this jinx on having it.
“We will first look at the institutions and government, then look into the fiscal and other issues and areas.
“I hope that the area of institutions and government we can address as soon as possible,” he said, expressing optimism that the Senate will begin work on the bill soon.