Abdulrazak Namdas, spokesman of the house of representatives, says the lower legislative chamber under Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, is “determined to ensure transparency, accountability and probity in all its activities”.
Namdas said this in reaction to the allegations that expenditures of the lower legislative chamber under Dogara were shrouded in mystery.
A group identified as ‘Concerned Members of the House of Representatives’ had said majority of the legislators did not know what was budgeted for running the house, but Namdas dismissed the allegation.
“We wish to state unequivocally that the house of representatives under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is determined to ensure transparency, accountability and probity in all its activities,” he said in a statement.
“In line with this, in consideration of the 2017 budget, certain reforms of the budget process have been put in place by the house leadership.
“There will be increased public and stakeholder participation in the budget process. Thus, public hearings on the budget is being organised to get input from Nigerians. This is in addition to the budget defence exercise by various committees for ministries, departments and agencies of government.
“Secondly, all committees have been directed to ensure that the report of the committees decisions on the budget is endorsed by at least 2/3rd of members of that committee in order to carry everybody along.
“Thirdly, as the speaker said during the 2017 budget presentation in December and in his welcome address to members on January 10, details of the budget would be tabled and passed in plenary.
“Already, the management have procured and are distributing office equipment and stationary especially to members’ offices. Staff can be seen doing this on daily basis and it will soon reach all members.
“On the issue of legislative aides of members and principal officers, it is the management that is basically responsible for this.”