Any Senator Bribed During Budget Defence Will Be Sanctioned – Saraki

Senate

The Nigerian Senate has threatened to sanction any Senator who received financial inducement from government agencies during the budget defence.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said this at the upper House of the National Assembly in Abuja at the end of the 2016 Budget debate, as the Senate passed the budget through its second reading.

“… let me categorically make it clear as we have said and all agreed, there is no room for money for budgeting in the process. Any allegation of such will be thoroughly investigated by Ethic Committee and such allegations where proven will be met with severe sanctions.

“We will ensure that where it involves an agency of government, we will play our own role, we will report it to the executive and ensure that they take appropriate action in this area. We must ensure that the integrity of this institution will continue to be sustained and not tarnished by anyone,” Saraki remarked.

He asked the Committees on Budget and Appropriation to reflect the concerns which lawmakers raised during the budget debate, as the committees worked on the budget.

He told the lawmakers at the upper House that they would be under heavy scrutiny in order to bring forth a budget that the Senate would be proud of.

“Distinguished colleague, Mr. President has played his own role, it is now the time for us to play our own role. Sub-Committee on Appropriation, I hope we will all take note of all the observations that have been made and highlighted.

“Key areas, for the Committee, particularly, the Committee on Finance and Petroleum, is the estimate. Very key that we get this right because if we don’t get this right, there is a likelihood of we archiving what will not work. So, I like these committees to particularly be very ready to critically scrutinize this revenue estimate that we can all put our name too and ensure that every item and every objective it has been designed to achieve have been fully captured.

“On our parts, we will ensure that starting from tomorrow, the sub-committee will start to meet with MDGs and start to present defence on the budget. The submission of the reports that we need for those two weeks from February 12 to February 18, we will want those reports to be before the Appropriation Committee.

“Distinguished colleagues, as we scrutinize the other budget from different ministries, as part of also leading by example, also the budget on our side, first time we have made commitment about it to be open about it and to know what of going to the Senate, to the management and to the different parts on the National Assembly, it is important also that we can see there will be much over sight functions for this budget to be effective. So, when we are doing the National Assembly budget, we must take this into note that we must empower our Committees to be able to do proper oversight and also it is clear that our own laws that exist now also need review in order to be in line with the new direction of prudence and efficiency. Again, that is going to be mean a lots of work to our committees. So, our committee on Services should address this issue in the budget.”

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