Senate President Bukoka Saraki on Monday set up two committees to reform the country’s national budgeting process.
Hahahahahaha. Very funny.
The one major promise which Saraki made before becoming senate president and several months afterwards was that he would make sure Nigerians are able to see the details of the national assembly budget unlike in the past. He gave that assurance more than a half dozen times at different fora and in different statements. And he has failed to keep his promise. But somehow, he believes he has the moral competence to talk about reforming the nation’s budgeting process.
Setting up the committees today is even more interesting coming on the same day that former president Olusegun Obasanjo accused lawmakers once again of being robbers and rogues. The last time Obasanjo lashed out at the national assembly on corruption and opacity, Saraki responded in a letter, saying, “we must lay bare the budget of the Senate, nay the National Assembly and its affiliated institutions.”
That was in January. Seven months later, Nigerians are still waiting to see how much premium Saraki places on his words. Still waiting.
Anyway in a statement from his office on Monday, he said the budget reforms committees are charged with the responsibility of closing the structural and procedural gaps that limit transparency and accountability in the budget process and fiscal discipline.
The committees are also to design a legislative framework that provides for effective oversight of off-budget accounts that typically lack oversight and transparency and also design efficient timelines for the entire budget process.
Senate President Bukola Saraki stated that the 8th National Assembly is determined to implement budget reforms that would help open the budget process to greater scrutiny and openness.
Too funny – Saraki talking about “transparency” and “openness” and “greater scrutiny.” Someone needs to send him a mirror.