President Muhammadu Buhari has slashed the budget of the National Assembly by ₦14.5 billion.
The President proposed the sum of ₦125 billion for the lawmakers in the 2019 budget proposal as against the ₦139.5 billion which the federal legislature received in the 2018 budget.
A cursory look at the proposed National Assembly budget which showed no breakdown indicates that the entire ₦125 billion was under recurrent expenditure, with overhead and capital having zero allocation.
President Buhari had initially proposed the same ₦125 billion for the lawmakers in 2018 but the legislators increased it to ₦139.5 billion, a development which did not go down well with the executive arm.
There had been no details for the National Assembly budget until 2017 when the two legislative chambers publicized details of their budget following sustained public pressure.
Between 2010 and 2013, during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration, the National Assembly’s annual budget was ₦150 billion, making a total of ₦600 billion for the four consecutive years.
The lawmakers’ subsequent budgets hovered around ₦120 billion until Buhari’s coming. He reduced it further to ₦115 billion in 2016. He proposed the same ₦115 billion for the lawmakers in the 2017 budget but they jacked it up by ₦10 billion.