The 2017 budget of the National Assembly includes an eye-popping N2.7 billion for the purchase of “utility vehicles” for the Senate alone.
This is contained in the line by line details of the National Assembly budget as passed by both legislative chambers on Thursday.
According to the document, N2,759,456,000 was designated for “purchase of utility vehicles”.
Another N424,036,000 million was allocated for the “purchase of photocopying machines and other office equipment.
”While the sum of N1,247,431,222 was mapped out for the “purchase of security equipment”.
It is curious why more than N2 billion is required for the purchase of operational vehicles given that there are already existing official vehicles.
Also one wonders whether there had not been any photocopying machines at the senate that could necessitate the allocation of over N400 million to purchase.
Similarly, Both the Senate and the House of Representatives budgeted about N11.5 billion for general travels and transportation – local and international – in the next fiscal year, excluding the allocation for vehicles.
Senate will spend N3, 777,114,399 and House of Representatives will spend N7, 722,489,596 for the same purpose.
Also the sum of N1.3 billion will be spent by both legislative chambers on refreshment and meals.
The item will gulp N409, 973,760, in the Senate and N913, 289,760 in the House.
It should be noted that the lawmakers upped their initial budget allocation of N115 billion to N125 billion in the passed document.
Details of the 2017 budget of the National Assembly were made public apparently in keeping with the promises of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara who have come under intense pressure in recent times by civil society groups and individuals to make the lawmakers’ budget open.