After months of public outcry over its lavish annual budget, Nigeria’s National Assembly has finally accepted a N20 billion cut to its budget, the first time it would do so since 2011.
This year, the National Assembly will spend N130 billion, and no longer N150 billion, according to the 2015 Appropriation Act signed this month by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Since 2011, the legislature had maintained a super annual budget package of N150 billion, with details of the spending kept top secret for four years.
Even as Nigeria faced a devastating revenue shortage due to sliding oil price in 2014, the Nigerian government proposed another N150 billion for the lawmakers for the 2015 fiscal year.
But while the lawmakers have now agreed a N20 billion cut following months of criticism, its new N130 billion allocation still outweighs the individual budgets of 19 states in Nigeria, PREMIUM TIMES analysis has shown.
Only 17 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory Administration have budgets that are equal to, or above that of the National Assembly.
The federal legislature consisting of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the National Assembly Service Commission and the Legislative Institute of Nigeria; has just over 2,000 persons.
The National Assembly has 469 members in addition to legislative aides and other support staff which are less than 1, 600 persons.
On the contrary, every state of the Federation have the full complements of the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, a robust civil service, and of course millions of citizens to care for.
Some of the states with smaller budgets include Ebonyi (N80 billion), Yobe (N80.6 billion) Niger (80.8 billion), Ekiti (N80.9 billion), Gombe (N86. 8 billion), Zamfara (N92.8 billion), and Enugu (N96.7 billion).
Others are Taraba, Benue, Jigawa and Adamawa. (See full list below). Read full on PT