Indeed, office of the citizen is the highest office in Nigeria. After 4 years of continuous advocacy (protests, FOI requests, media engagements and citizen education) for an open, transparent and accountable National Assembly, the National Assembly has eventually made details of its 2017 budget public, though it failed to publish details of its 2016 budget.
Also, owing to rising inflation and the depreciation of the naira, the National Assembly has increased its 2017 budget in this year’s Appropriation Bill to N125 billion from the initial proposal of N115 billion. It seems the N10 billion increase is what the National Assembly charge Nigerians for demanding an #OpenNASS.
With N23.347 billion in 2003, the National Assembly’s budget stands at about N115 billion in 2016, representing over 492 per cent rise in 13 years. They decided to take it a bit higher in 2017.
The advocacy and demands of #OpenNASS has remained in the mainstream of discussions over the past 4 years. Goal 1 – make public details of its annual budget – of the #OpenNASS advocacy campaign has been achieved. However, there are 4 other goals of the #OpenNASS campaign. The other advocacy goals are:
Maintain a functional website and make public attendance records at plenary.
Replace voice voting with electronic voting and making voting records public.
Work with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Committee (RMAFC) to review and reduce allowances of legislators.
Provide an audit for the N1.15 trillion ($5.75 billion) it received from 2005 – 2014
As active citizens, we’ve got the power and the advocacy is not yet over! Call the #OpenNASS campaign hotlines – 08139861001 or 08139861002 – to learn about more actions you can take to demand for an open, transparent and accountable National Assembly.
We implore the citizens to continually demand for transparency and accountability from their elected officials and keep them on their toes to ensure that governance works for all Nigerians, not for selected few.