Following the nationwide outcry that greeted the announcement of the salaries and allowances of Nigeria’s legislators, Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 announced that an ad hoc committee would be set up immediately to review the controversial N120 billion budget.Speaking after a closed-session which lasted for about an hour, Saraki said the committee will be made up of 18 senators picked from the six geopolitical zones to draw up an agenda for the senate in the coming weeks.
He said: ”The task before us is enormous and very clear. Nigerians voted for change. They demand that we deliver to them tangible change. They expect that we improve the quality of governance.
“Three issues agitate their minds today. The falling government revenues, the current fiscal crisis in many of our states and the unsustainable cost of governance in the country and the rising cost of doing business in Nigeria. We must provide answers because it can no longer be business as usual.
“As it stands, to leave a historic impact on the affairs of our nation, we must choose to show we are made for this moment. Without doing so we cannot have the moral authority to question ministries, departments and agencies that carry on with little regard for the public good.
“In the last few days we have seen the media awash with fictitious reports of allowances for national assembly members. It further emphasises the need for us to be more transparent in the national assembly to avoid attendant misinformation this kind of mischief can bring.
“In the coming days, we shall be setting up an ad hoc committee immediately to reappraise the structure of the national assembly budget to ensure that it is in line with economic realties.”