THE Senate on Friday explained why the National Assembly budget for 2017 was jerked up by N10billion, saying that it was to enable the legislature to implement some critical capital projects.
Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, offered the explanation when confronted by State House corespondents after representing the Senate at Juma’at prayers at the State House mosque.
He said the National Assembly was executing many projects including the National Institute of Legislative Studies which he said would be beneficial to Nigerian democracy.
He advised critics to look beyond the present members of the National Assembly and think of the legislature as an enduring institution which must be strengthened for the future.
Rationalizing the increase, he said: “You know we have so many projects in the National Assembly, as well we are building the National Institute of Legislative Studies.
“It is one Institute the National Assembly uses for capacity building and even people from outside the National Assembly come there to get some support.
“So, we needed to have capital projects and we ensured that we included that from the benchmark difference, I don’t think that is something big.
“You need to have a National Assembly that is really competent to produce good laws. We should have a National Assembly that is properly kitted.”
The Senate a Leader observed that the publication of the National Assembly budget for the first time ever was to meet the yearnings of Nigerians.
“To satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians who want to know what the National Assembly budget details are. We should be talking here how beneficial the budget will be to economic development of this country,” he said.
While expressing confidence in the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, Lawan vowed that the legislature would fully monitor the implementation of the 2017 budget.