by Ajadi Daniel
The leadership of the National Assembly, Senate president Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara have agreed to make public the account of the National Assembly. This is in response to the pressure and cries from the public requesting the National Assembly to disclose their wages, allowances and salaries.
Statement from the office of the clerk stated that “the management is proposing an account manual that would tally with the needs of the national assembly.
The National Assembly plans to introduce a new clause into the procurement act currently being amended, which would give the National Assembly and also the Judiciary power to develop and operate their own template for disbursement of monies which would now be on first line charge (Financial Independence).
Critically looking at this, it just meant that the National Assembly want a degree of financial independence contrary to what we were being told.
Also, the most important part of this story is actually not that the national assembly intends to cut their pay or make fiscal affairs in the house open, but rather to give them more financial autonomy, they want to have their own chart of account because the previous one was developed by the executive not because it is ineffective.
The question is how does this effort translate into transparency for the fiscal activities of the National Assembly?, Do you think this is a genuine response to the call for transparency and accountability in the financial affairs of the house?
The fabulous allowances, wages and salaries of the National Assembly is actually an open secret and their is no doubting the fact that they are among the highest in the world which also puts them in the category of the most insensitive.
Hence accountability and transparency in the National Assembly has to be deliberate and should not solely be perceived in the context of fiscal freedom, but also in the context of an open spending system where every dime spent is made known to the public including the salaries and wages of the lawmakers.
Also the Lawmakers should begin to make deliberate effort at reducing their fabulous wages and allowances but that probably would require a revolution.