Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has released details of the expenditures of the state, including his security votes and his monthly salary, and charged the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure that details of the 2016 budget of the legislators were made public.
In a statement issued on Monday by the governor’s media aide, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said the release was in reaction to the challenge thrown at him by Dogara on Friday.
Dogara had on Friday, during the closing ceremony of a retreat for workers in the National Assembly, charged Governor El-Rufai and other State governors to practice what he( El-Rufai) preaches by publishing details of his earnings, including the controversial security votes, as well as funds that accrued to local governments in the state.
El-Rufai’s statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a challenge by Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, calling on Kaduna State to make public its security votes and local government expenditure.
“This challenge was thrown as a response to Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s request to the national assembly (NASS) to provide further details on the opaque N115 billion 2016 NASS budget.”
Governor El-Rufai said he welcomes the challenge “as a necessary step to improve and strengthen our democracy” but added that the information were already in the public domain as the state government had released same on its websites in 2016.
He said: “On our part, the Kaduna state government has consistently made public all its budget details.
“In 2016, in an unprecedented step, the state published not only its own budget, but also that of all the 23 local government councils online on the www.openkaduna.com.ng website.
“The local government budgets provide details of the recurrent and capital spending of every single LG in a transparent manner.
“The proposed 2017 LG budgets, currently before the state assembly, are also already online on the same website, and on www.kdsg.gov.ng.
“Approved state budgets 2016-2017 can be found on http://openkaduna.com.ng/Budget/approved-budget. We invite the right honourable speaker to download and peruse at his pleasure.”
The Governor also noted that if the honourable speaker had run an online search he would have discovered the details the State’s security spending online.
He nevertheless gave a breakdown of security expenses as contained in the state’s 2017 budget as follows:
“N1.5bn (one and half billion naira) for the procurement & installation of CCTV cameras for monitoring and surveillance towards Reducing Criminal Activities within the Metropolis.
“N193m (one hundred and ninety-three million naira) for Procurement of Geo-position Interceptor and location of GSM UMTS System to Check the Trends andIntercept/locate kidnappers’ GSM calls.
“N265m (two hundred and sixty-five million naira) for the Procurement of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to identify locations of armed bandits in our Forest Reserves across the state and the Establishment of a Forensic Laboratory to assist in determining substantial evidence in cases that otherwise proved difficult in the past.
“In addition, N2.6bn (two billion and six hundred million naira) is allocated in 2017 to support the network of federal Security Agencies in Kaduna with communications, logistics and materiel.
The governor noted that details of 2015 security spending are also publicly available via the annual report of the accountant-general accessible on www.kdsg.gov.ng , adding that the audited state government accounts can also be found on http://openkaduna.com.ng/Budget/audited.
He pledged that his administration will continue to remain transparent and open in all its finances.
The Governor also published a copy of his pay slip for February 2017.
The document showed that he had a gross earning of N555,926.25 in the month of February. A total of N85,404.51 was deducted as Pay As You Earn, PAYE, tax, leaving a net income of N470,521.74.
A breakdown of the payment showed that N185,308,75 was the governor’s basic salary for the month, while N370,617,50 was marked “hardship allowance”.
El-Rufai charged Dogara to also publish details of the N115 billion budget of the National Assembly in the spirit of transparency and compatibility.