Transparency in Government has a new turn, Elrufai challenges National Assembly

The move by Kaduna State governor, Nasir Elrufai, has received commendation from most Nigerians, and it's considered one of the benefits of the current change mantra of the Buhari's administration.

Mr. Nasir El-Rufai

In what look as a twist to transparency in government in Nigeria, a Northern Nigeria governor, Nasir Elrufai, has published its monthly salary, security votes, the state budget and the state’s local government consolidation account details for public consumption.

Details of these documents can be viewed on www.openkaduna.com.ng

The move by the governor was a response to the challenge by the Speaker of Nigerian House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, who stated that the governor should first published the details of his monthly salary and the secretive security votes before beckoning on the National Assembly to do same.

“El-Rufai is today making publicly available his pay-slip as Governor of Kaduna State. In February 2017, the Kaduna State Government paid the Governor a net salary of N470,521.74 ($1,518) with the following details,” the governor said in a statement.

The statement pegs his monthly gross pay at $1,793, but went a step further to disclose details of the so-called security votes which runs into billions of local currency naira as well as how it was spent.

This challenge was posed to the governor during an event on Friday, April 8, 2017, when ElRufai and the Speaker were guests at an event. The governor used the opportunity to add his voices calling on the country’s legislative arm to open its annual huge budget of $484 million for public scrutiny.

“The call to #OpenNASS is not a personal one. It is one which the leadership of the National Assembly owes to all Nigerians,” the governor noted during the press briefing.

“It is therefore disingenuous for the speaker to use state government budgets as the excuse for the opacity of the NASS (National Assembly of Nigeria) budget.

"There is no state government in Nigeria with a budget nearly as opaque as that of NASS. In March 2016, this National Assembly, led by its chairman, promised to provide a detailed breakdown of the national assembly budget. Nigerians are waiting,”  he added.

Nigerians on social media and civil society organizations are currently calling on the leadership of the National Assembly to also publish their budget for public review.

The EnougisEnough has created a website on open NASS, while the #openNASS currently trends on twitter.

The speaker and his aides are yet to respond to the governor's disclosures.

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