Abuja – The President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki, on Thursday said the 8th Senate was committed to good governance, transparency, accountability and due process.
The Chairman of the National Assembly (NASS) was responding to an open letter from the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to both chambers in which he called the attention of the lawmakers to issues bordering on budgets and finances of the NASS.
Obasanjo also raised issues of fiscal policy irresponsibility, extravagance and impunity by some members.
Replying to the letter in a statement he signed personally, Saraki however assured the former president that the NASS was aware of the current economic realities and was also cutting its expenditure.
“Yesterday, I acknowledged receipt of a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he called the attention of the National Assembly to some issues.
“I will want to assure President Obasanjo that the leadership and membership of the 8th Senate are committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation.
“It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly.
“This is of even greater importance during a tough fiscal period for our country.
“Like I said, the Senate must lead by example in terms of our own funding, budgets and accountability; showing, beyond doubt, value for money.
“I have canvassed that we must lay bare the budget of the Senate, the National Assembly and its affiliated institutions.
“I equally canvassed the need to strengthen the capacity of the legislative institution to carry our effective oversight of the executive arm.
“That way, we can ensure the budget leads to the realisation of the policy objectives of the Buhari Administration,’’ he said.
Saraki reiterated the commitment of the Senate under his leadership, to work to block all areas of revenue leakages while also strengthening the anti-corruption agencies.
He emphasised that he held the former president in high esteem and would formally reply his letter outlining the actions of the Senate to address his (Obasanjo) concerns.
“I appreciate President Obasanjo for his consistent role in always reminding those of us in government about our responsibilities to the general public and offering timely advice where necessary,’’ he said.
The former President had expressed his concerns in a letter delivered to both chambers of the NASS on Wednesday.