Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has once again waylaid the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara over monthly salary pay-slips, state security votes and local government allocation, saying he (El-Rufai) has no security vote.
El-Rufai had earlier disclosed his monthly pay-slip with a net salary of N470,521.7, having earlier challenged the speaker to do so.
In a swift reaction, Dogara had, within the week released his pay slip, showing a total pay per month of a net salary after deduction as N346,577.87.
Dogara, during a public function last week in Kaduna, challenged the state governor, EL-Rufai to publish the state security votes and local government allocation if he is transparent enough.
This is sequel to an earlier statement by El-Rufai that the annual budget of the National Assembly (NASS) was shrouded in secrecy, making Nigerians to doubt its transparency and accountability.
Howbeit, the governor, in a statement on Thursday, April 13, through his Media Spokesman, Samuel Aruwan faulted Dogara’s claims.
El-Rufai further said he issued this update in relation to admonition that he gave to the NASS leadership on the need for lawmakers to make their budget transparent and accountable.
Below is Governor El-Rufai’s statement:
“The figures in the pay slips presented to the speaker are in stark contrast to the declaration by The Economist regarding the earnings of NASS members. One of the claims cannot be right.
“If the leaders of the NASS have security votes allocated to them or personally collected by them, they might wish to disclose such.
“Our security spending does not operate like the NASS system of sharing public funds in such an opaque fashion that even NASS members do not know how their entire budget is broken down or what the leadership gets as its ‘running costs.
“Kaduna State government has presented details of its security budget. What was presented represents the only security vote for the entire government. As the figures show, there is no security vote for the governor of Kaduna State.
“This may be a shock to those used to the notion of security votes as barely disguised slush funds, but we do not operate such a system in Kaduna. Our budgets specify what is voted as assistance to security agencies, and its expenditure is properly recorded and accounted for. These are not monies given to or spent by the governor.
“We reiterate our call for the NASS to download and analyse our budgets and actual spending which are all publicly available.
“In Kaduna State, the state government has been a net creditor to local government councils, some of which cannot pay salaries without assistance by the state government.
“We do not retain local government funds nor impose contracts on them. Our policy announcements in this regard were widely reported and appreciated.”
“When NASS eventually releases its budget details, the public will be hoping to see specifics on personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditure. Rather than restrict budget details to only 2017, the current leadership of NASS should fulfil the obligations of transparency by releasing the breakdown of the NASS budget since 2015. That way, Nigerians, including members of the NASS, will get to know what the budget of that institution is.
“The NASS leadership has been promising ad infinitum to publish the breakdown of the opaque budget. It should simply do so…”
Prompt release of the 2015 and 2016 breakdowns, along with the proposed figures for 2017, would be a good way to start.
“As things stand today, even if Malam Nasir El-Rufai refrains from further commentary on this matter, the genie is already out of the bottle. The public will not accept a secretive NASS, or any other branch of government for that matter.
“The House of Representatives has responded with predictable tetchiness to a simple and clear demand that details of the National Assembly budget be made public. It is inconceivable that an important institution, vested by the Constitution with representation, lawmaking and oversight powers, has for at least seven years, ignored the imperative to set an example of transparency, despite being severally urged to do so.
“Despite the rush to personal attacks on a matter of public policy, we cannot allow the enthronement of the republic of distraction. It is important that everyone who is interested in protecting and advancing democratic discourse should stay focused on the issue. It is strange that persons entrusted with high office will justify their abdication of the responsibility to be transparent in such cavalier fashion. We don’t believe that most of our esteemed legislators will construe a demand for transparency as aimed at undermining the National Assembly.
“However, notwithstanding the intemperate response of the spokesman of the House of Representatives, the demand that the NASS budget be made public will not go away. It is not personal, and there is a strong civic constituency that is demanding it. The sooner all of us in public life recognised that the game has changed and that segments of civil society and indeed everyday citizens of Nigeria, are much more aware, astute and advanced than the state of our politics, the better for our democratic health.
“Since the NASS began conceiving its budget as a single-line item, how many legislators, not to mention other citizens, have seen the details of the budget? Can anyone recall seeing the spending patterns and details in any published audited accounts of the NASS recently? By contrast, all state governments present their audited accounts to their state Houses of Assembly as required by law. The federal statutory agencies that NASS cites as not having their budgets reflected in the National Budget submit details of their budgets to the NASS for review and approval.
“How, in the 21st Century, can we have any national institution that is comfortable with not being subject to any oversight, audit or external scrutiny. The constitutional principle of checks and balances was not introduced for purposes of idle luxury, but to ensure that every institution exercises its power in an accountable manner.
“The Kaduna State Government has presented details of its security budget. What was presented represents the only security vote for the entire government. As the figures show, there is no security vote for the governor of Kaduna State. This may be a shock to those used to the notion of security votes as barely disguised slush funds, but we do not operate such a system in Kaduna. Our budgets specify what is voted as assistance to security agencies, and its expenditure is properly recorded and accounted for. These are not monies given to or spent by the governor.
“The spokesman of the House of Representatives may wish to respond to what is written, rather than what is imagined. The statement of Kaduna State Govrnment on Monday, April 10, 2017, clearly stated that N100billion is bigger than the capital budgets of many states. That is a statement of fact.
“In dragging the memo, Malam Nasir El-Rufai submitted to President Buhari seven months ago into this matter, the spokesman of the House of Representatives betrays no recognition that it is the conduct of those that leaked private communication that bears condemnation.”
Tinubu Is NOT My Man — El-Rufai Declares
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has publicly admitted to having a personal issue with Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
El-rufai admitted to this while speaking at a webinar in commemoration of the 63rd birthday of the former Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Saturday,
El-Rufai, who didn’t state the kind of differences disclosed that he’s not Tinubu’s “man.”
El-Rufai said: “I want to congratulate my brother, Ogbeni (Aregbesola), on his birthday. You know I’m your man any day.
“I’m not Asiwaju’s man and you are Asiwaju’s man, but I am your man any day. Asiwaju and I have differences but you and I have no differences.”
There are speculations in certain quarters that both El-Rufai and Tinubu are nursing the ambition to become Nigeria’s next president in 2023.
Despite the speculations which have been going on for a while now, both Tinubu and El-Rufai haven’t come out to either deny or admit to such claim.
Buhari, APC Have Set Nigeria 60 Years Backward — PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a dig at the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration describing his five years stewardship as “wasteful, a season of the locusts.”
In a strongly worded statement issued on Friday by Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, on the state of the nation, the PDP said after reviewing the five years of the Buhari administration, both the president and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have “taken Nigeria 60 years backward.”
The statement accused Buhari and the APC of turning the country into a wasteland after allegedly destroying the economy.
The statement said under Buhari, May 29, has become “synonymous with the enthronement of incompetence, insensitive leadership, endemic corruption in high places and governance by propaganda and false performance claims.”
It also accused the APC administration of reversing all the “gains achieved by the PDP for which May 29 was always celebrated and left the country dejected and despondent.”
Furthermore, it said under Buhari, Nigerians always grieve on May 29, as it has become “a day for commemoration of failed promises, reversal of gains achieved by past leaders and retrogression in our body polity as a nation.”
The statement reads in part :”This administration has failed woefully in its three major governance planks of provision of security, economic recovery and fight against corruption.
“In the last five years, the APC administration has done nothing but driving our nation along the precipices; reneged on all its campaign promises, ruined our productive sector, frustrated our farmers, manufacturers and small scale entrepreneurs, devalued our naira, wrecked employment opportunities for our youth, turned our once prosperous nation into the poverty capital of the world while accumulating huge foreign debts for this generation and the unborn.
“Under five years, President Buhari has borrowed from every corner of the world. These include external borrowing of $10.72 billion (N4.1 trillion) in 2015, $11.41 billion (N4.4 trillion) in 2016, $18.91 billion (N7.3 trillion) in 2017, $25.27 billion (N9.8 trillion) in 2018, $27.68 billion (N10.7 trillion) in 2019 as well as 2020 loans of $3.4 billion (N1.3 trillion) from IMF, $4.4 million (N1.594 billion) internal borrowing, $22.7 billion (N8.8 trillion) external loan and the recently yet to be approved $5.513 billion (N2.1 trillion) waiting before the National Assembly.
“Our party had already alerted Nigerians that with the volume of borrowing, President Buhari and the APC have placed our nation on the international auction market.
“In the last five years, corruption has also worsened in government circle as shown in Transparency International (TI)’s corruption perception index. Federal Government agencies such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others have been opened up for pillaging by the cabal in the Presidency and the APC.”
Continuing, the statement noted that the government only pays lip to security as bandits, insurgents and marauders were now having a field day with killings.
“It is distressing that instead of heeding wise counsel to accept failure and avoid making false performance claims, the Buhari Presidency just yesterday, released a list of recycled fictitious achievements, including very insensitive claim of having routed out bandits; even as marauders were pillaging communities and killing our compatriots in Sokoto and other states, particularly in the Northwest.
“A look at the list exposed reused figures and data without corresponding verifiable projects in any part of the country, apart from attempts to appropriate PDP projects,” the statement said.
The party called on the president to wake up to the reality by accepting “failure and seek help since it has become clear that his administration as presently constituted has devastated our nation and leading us on a journey to nowhere.”
No Man Can Stop Me From Returning As Edo Governor — Obaseki Boasts
Governor Godwin Obaseki has confidently declared that he will emerge governor of Edo State, ahead of the governorship election in the State.
Obaseki who spoke as a guest on a Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, expressed confidence that he will return as the governor of the State.
According to him, no one can stop him because only God gives power.
“I am not a violent person. But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.
“God gave me power. If he wants me to return, I will continue. No man can stop me. Power comes from God.”
The governor also rubbished claims that he used the resources of the people of Edo State to become governor.
“I have friends with resources. I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.
“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources is not true. I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.
“It does not matter whether it is direct or indirect (primaries), I will win.”
Obaseki’s statement is coming shorty after Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was endorsed as the consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) consensus candidate for the state governorship election.
Ize-Iyamu is believed to be loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who has been at loggerheads with Governor Obaseki.
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