EXCLUSIVE: Inside National Assembly’s N115 billion budget for 2016; House of Reps gets biggest share

The House of Representatives is to receive the highest allocation in National Assembly’s N115 billion budget for 2016, details of the proposal exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES ahead of an official release, shows.

The public release of specific allocations to the various arms of the assembly will be the first time in five years.

Despite public criticisms against the assembly’s huge budget, details seen by this newspaper show the N115 billion aggregate may be retained after all.

In the budget President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives December 22, the sum of N115 billion was allocated to the National Assembly without breaking down the details of the allocations to its arms.

The bulk allocation to the National Assembly began in 2011. Since then the legislature has resisted demands for a breakdown of allocations to its arms and has rebuffed calls for transparency in its annual spending.

Since taking office in 2015, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is the chairman of the National Assembly, repeatedly assured that henceforth the details of its budget would be made known to Nigerians as part of the efforts to ensure transparency in its operations.

The draft budgetary allocations to the National Assembly shows that out of the N115 billion allocated to the legislature, N105.4 billion has been set aside as recurrent expenditure while N9.6 billion is for capital projects.

The draft breakdown, expected to be adopted by the Senate and House of Representatives at their plenary sessions Thursday barring any last minute change of mind, also shows that the 360-member House of Representatives will get N47.2 billion.

Of that figure, proposed recurrent expenditure is N44. 6 billion while the capital expenditure is N2.7 billion. The personnel cost for the lower chamber is N4.9 billion while the overhead cost is N39.6 billion.

The proposed allocation to the Senate is N30. 2 billion. The breakdown shows that the upper house would spend N3.3 billion on capital projects and N26.97 billion on recurrent. Its personnel cost is N1,856,510,517 and overhead cost is N25,111,332,147.

The Public Accounts Committee of the Senate was allocated N115,008,000 while its House counterpart got N138,009,000.

The management arm has a total allocation of N11,625,392,906 with N10,048,616,823 as recurrent expenditure and N1,576,776,083 as capital votes. Its personnel cost is N6,372,434,997 and overhead cost N3,676,181,826.

The sum of N9458,800,803 was allocated for General Services. When broken down, the recurrent profile is N,669,079,143 while the capital expenditure profile stands at N789,721,660.

Other arms of the federal legislature that received allocations are National Assembly Service Commission and the National Assembly Legislative Institute.

The NASC got N1,971,833,327 with N1,858,033,532 as recurrent expenditure and N113,799,795 for capital projects. Its personnel cost is N810,084,566 while the overhead is N1,047,950,966.

On its part, the NALI secured a total of N4,208,813,051 with N3,844,990,172 as capital and N363,822,879 as recurrent. A further breakdown shows that its personnel cost is 363,522,879 while overhead is N3,019,355,811.

A total of N9,668,983,512 has been set aside for the legislative aides of the lawmakers while the Service Order Vote is N374,405,631.

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