Senate President Bukola Saraki says the N125 billion set aside for the National Assembly is relatively insignificant.
He said the money is just three percent of the country’s total spending for 2017.
Analysis of the budget by non-governmental organisation has shown that it takes about N229 million to put a single senator in the senate for a year.
Speaking on Channels TV, Saraki said, “that is not being fair, because the money is not going to the senator, it is the cost of running an arm of government. It is not the senator.
“In as much as we would take our criticism, we owe a responsibility to get across the right message; that is what it cost to run the legislative arm of government.
“You don’t take the overhead of the executive and say this is how much it cost to have a president, or a vice-president, or a minister, let’s be fair.”
In defending the budget, the Senate President said “It is three percent of the entire budget, if you factor that against other areas of government, it is totally insignificant, as regards an arm of government.”
“It sounds nice or I think if you are playing to the gallery, we can do that, but I think serious minded leaders must address what are the major issues; yes, we should cut cost, but no matter how much cost you cut, apart from retrenchment, you cannot reduce that cost by a certain percent.
“If you truly want to cut cost, just like when you run a company, you can cut all the cost but at the end of the day, you will have to go through issues of retrenchment, which we know is not an action we are likely to take.”
Saraki added that Nigerians should focus on revenue leakages, stressing that the National Assembly budget is insufficient for the job to be done.
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