The spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, says Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, only published the security budget of the state and not his security votes.
The governor had released details of his state’s expenditure days after Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, challenged governors to release their expenditure.
But speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Namdas advised el-Rufai to concentrate on governing his state and stop undermining and distracting the national assembly.
He urged the governor to face the security issues arising from the southern Kaduna crisis.
He said as a senior citizen, el-Rufai should not overheat the polity with “tendentious and unfounded outbursts”.
“We note that what Mallam el-Rufai published was the security budget of Kaduna state and not his security vote expenditure as such,” Namdas told journalists.
“We wish to advise the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to concentrate his efforts in Governing Kaduna State and stop undermining and distracting the national assembly in playing its constitutionally assigned role in nation building.
“He launched an attack on the National Assembly on Friday, 7th April, 2017 and continued on Monday 10th April 2017. We are aware that there are serious security issues he should be grappling with in southern Kaduna and other governmental issues facing him.”
He explained that the national assembly is not opaque and since the constitution was amended in 2010, the legislature was put in a first line charge.
“Its budget became part of statutory transfers, together with the Judiciary, INEC and others. You cannot find details of the Budget of the Judiciary and INEC in the national budget,” Namdas said.
“It exists elsewhere. Of course from 1999 to 2010, the details of the national assembly budget was contained in the national budget.”
He said the national clerk has been directed to start publishing the budget from 2017.
“To continue to repeat the same call made 3days earlier smacks of propaganda and cheap blackmail,” he said.
“The Kaduna state Governor chose to give headings of its budget on security related matters. Maybe he will give further details of actual security expenditures at the appropriate time.
“He claimed that the State’s accounts have been audited. No grounds have been broken here. The response by the Kaduna state governor completely missed the point.
“It is most uncharitable to ignore the fact that the National Assembly is an arm of government, not a department in the executive branch. The budget of so many agencies in the executive is higher than that of National Assembly, an arm of government.
“Such agencies as NCC – N102billion, CBN – N421billion, NPA – N250billion, NIMASA – N100billion, FIRS – N146billion, Customs – N81billion and NNPC whose budget runs into trillions are some examples. Indeed, the National Assembly Budget is about 2% of the national budget.”
He further described el-Rufai’s letter to President Muhammadu Buhari as a “strenuous effort to undermine his government, by openly lampooning him when he has unhindered access to His Excellency, Mr. President”.