Nigeria Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, inaugurated an ad hoc committee to carry out thorough fiscal examination on the senate finances with the aim of coming up with the best cost-effective regime in the 8th Senate.
The 10-member committee, headed Senator James Manager, according to Saraki, would look at the best strategy to align with the current administration’s efforts to ensure reduction in cost of governance, which he said, had been a sensitive matter on the front burner of national issues.
He said the committee would ascertain details of salaries and allowances each senator deserves with a view to unraveling the ambiguity in the monthly salaries of legislators and their allowances.
He noted with concern that there should clarity, accountability and transparency in all legislative matters and legislators’ welfare.
He said, “The 8th Senate under our watch recognises the concerns raised by Nigerians about the cost of running office, most especially with the economic challenges facing our nation.
“The senate will be more transparent regarding all public funds spent for the purpose of paying salaries and allowances of legislators and ensure that distinction is sufficiently made between what a legislator actually earns and what was being spent to run and implement legislative business and committee activities.
Saraki pledged that the watchword in the senate’s financial issues would be fiscal conservatism and that the committee was mandated to carry out thorough fiscal examination on the senate finances.
He commended the Clerk of the National Assembly, National Assembly Management and senators who worked to ensure the smooth delivery of this event.
The senate president also on Thursday, inaugurated an ad hoc committee on Legislative Agenda, saddled with the responsibility of charting a renewed course for the 8th Senate.
He said the 18-member committee headed by the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, would chart a new course for the parliament as a way of ensuring smooth relationship between the executive and the legislature for effective delivery.
He said, “Legislators do not govern, but they provide the means by which a political system can maintain the balance between effectiveness and consent, that is, between the needs of government to be able to raise resources necessary to carry out a programme of public policy and to maintain the consent of the people.
“The challenges ahead are very daunting and onerous in nature and this therefore requires the input of the whole committee towards generating a refined report.
“The objectives and mission of the legislative agenda are but not limited to;Increasing the institutional capacity of the Senate, building a legislative autonomy and strengthening the committee system.”
He noted that the committee would also map out strategies for oversight functions and extensive representation through outreach to stakeholders.
He added that the ad-hoc committee was asked not to undermine the pivotal significance of the legislative agenda and the timeline thereof in the delivery of a sound report that will shape the course of the 8th Senate.