Chris Steven, Abuja
The Senate of the National Association of Nigerian Students ,NANS, has described the breakdown of the 2017 budget by the National Assembly as a step in the right direction.
The Senate President, Salam Oyejide, said this in a press statement charging the lawmakers not to relent in ensuring good governance in the country.
According to him, making the breakdown of the National Assembly budget open for the first time signals the commencement of real democracy in the country.
He explained that the step taken by members of the National Assembly was a germane one for the sustenance of democratic values, adding that it would boost the confidence of Nigerians in government.
He said, “Though, this is a commendable step, there is still a lot to be done and there is need for government to be more prominent in promoting transparency, accountability, and access to information.
One may say that Nigeria is a democratic state, but this obviously marks the commencement of real democracy in the country. We hope that our system will continue to grow along the line of openness and transparency.
“To comfortably say that we are practising real democracy, government must display a high level of openness and transparency, and protect the interest of the masses. Openness and transparency in decision making process will improve citizens’ trust in government’s action while doing otherwise will cause apathy and disloyalty to government.”
He hailed the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for making such an open breakdown realisable in Nigeria’s legislative system, urging all States House of Assemblies and Senate of universities to emulate such gesture.
He subsequently urged the lawmakers to ensure the implementation of the budget, complaining that some items in the budget didn’t reflect the pains of the masses.
“It is not enough to make an open breakdown of the National Assembly’s budget; Nigerians need to be convinced that it is not a political gimmick through adequate implementation. We hope that the budget will ensure that dividends of democracy gets to the masses and reflect our realities as a nation,” he added.