Saraki replies Obasanjo’s blistering letter to the Senate

Senate president, Bukola Saraki has penned a reply to the letter sent to the upper chamber of the National Assembly by the a former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The letter was dated January 13, 2016 and addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Obasanjo had lambasted the lawmakers for budgeting over N4 billion for the purchase of cars when the country was fast sliding into a brutal economic crunch.

He also harangued the lawmakers for the lack of transparency in the budgeting for this arm of government while calling for a transparent audit of their books from 1999.

Senate President Saraki, in response to the letter however, reiterated that under his leadership, the senate was working towards good governance, transparency, accountability, due process as well as fit reactions to the economic reality of the nation.

He stated that the legislative chamber has initiated bold and progressive reforms to see to the transparent management of the funds in the National Assembly.

Read the full text of Saraki’s letter below.

Yesterday, I acknowledged that I received 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 during my closing address at the plenary after our debate on the 2016 Budget, 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, nay 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 so that we can ensure the budget leads to the realization of the policy objectives of the Buhari Administration. Again, let me reiterate my position in the speech I made this morning on the need for us to work towards blocking all areas of revenue leakages while also strengthening the anti-corruption agencies so that the little resources that are now available will serve the interest of the overwhelming majority.

As a former president and a father of the nation that we all hold in high esteem, I intend to reply the letter and outline the actions the Senate is taking to address his concerns.

In conclusion, 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.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki

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