The Senate has passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill with a total budget estimates of ₦7,441,175,486,758.
The lawmakers, who commenced the consideration of the report of the appropriation committee at 12:15.pm, passed the budget at exactly 1.pm.
The budget figure, was increased by N143 billion from the N7.298trn proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to N7.441trn.
It was observed that against the initial proposal of N115bn for the National Assembly budget, the lawmakers jerked their budget to N125bn, making an increase of N10bn.
It was further observed that there was no objection to the budget from any lawmaker, except when some lawmakers shouted in protest for the N51bn allocated to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The Senate is still considering the budget document
Mainwhile,the National Assembly, Thursday, for the first time, published the details of its budget, beginning with the 2017 budget, to underscore transparency as earlier promised by the President of the 8th Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Reacting to the recent landmark, some Nigerians who expressed their views on the internet hailed the law making body and its leadership, Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara for complying with their earnest call for #opennass.
Recall that Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, had earlier promised Nigerians that he’ll heed the calls for an Open National Assembly (#OpenNASS) in order to ensure everyone gets to see the line-item allocations of the legislative arm.
The Appropriations Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives separately presented their harmonised reports of the budget for consideration and subsequent passage on Thursday.
According to the report, N434.4 billion was appropriated for statutory transfers to the National Judicial Council (N100 billion); Niger Delta Development Commission (N64.02 billion); Universal Basic Education (N95.2 billion); National Assembly (N125 billion); Public Complaints Commission (N4 billion); INEC (N45 billion); and National Human Rights Commission (N1.2 billion).
The seven establishments are to get allocations on first line charge. In practice, the spending details of these offices are not made public.
But the spokesperson for the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, told Journalists details of the National Assembly budget are included in the whole national budget, ending eight years of secrecy.
“We have opened our budget,” he said. “Details are in the (whole) budget, that’s what I have come to tell you.”