Present National Assembly is Transparent – Saraki replies Obasanjo
Chief Obasanjo had written to both chambers of the National Assembly calling the attention of the lawmakers to issues bordering on budgets and finances of the parliament. He raised issues of fiscal policy irresponsibility, extravagance and impunity, particularly the determination of the legislators to procure state-of-the-art exotic cars.
But responding to the letter in a statement personally signed by him, Saraki, however, assured the former president that the National Assembly, which he chairs, was aware of the current economic realities and was also cutting its expenditure.
“Yesterday, I acknowledged receipt of a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he called the attention of the National Assembly to some issues.
“I will want to assure President Obasanjo that the leadership and membership of the 8th Senate are committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation.
“It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly.
“This is of even greater importance during a tough fiscal period for our country.
“Like I said, the Senate must lead by example in terms of our own funding, budgets and accountability; showing, beyond doubt, value for money.
“I have canvassed that we must lay bare the budget of the Senate, the National Assembly and its affiliated institutions.
“I equally canvassed the need to strengthen the capacity of the legislative institution to carry our effective oversight of the executive arm.
“That way, we can ensure the budget leads to the realisation of the policy objectives of the Buhari Administration,’’ he wrote.
The Senate President reiterated the commitment of the Senate under his leadership, to work to block all areas of revenue leakages while also strengthening the anti-corruption agencies.
Noting that he held the former president in high esteem and would formally reply his letter outlining the actions of the Senate to address Obasanjo’s concerns, Saraki wrote, “I appreciate President Obasanjo for his consistent role in always reminding those of us in government about our responsibilities to the general public and offering timely advice where necessary.”