A non-governmental organization, the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative, BBYDI, has called on the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi, to make public, details of the Assembly’s 2021 budget.
BBYDI made the call via a statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Wednesday by its Executive Director, Mr Abideen Olasupo, who said it was imperative, in the spirit of openness and accountability, for the legislative arm of government to make its annual budget open for public scrutiny.
Olasupo said the failure of previous and current assemblies to publish breakdown of their annual budget and make it accessible to the public, is discouraging, anti-democratic and has the tendency to aid corruption. He, therefore, charged Speaker Danladi to make a depart from the past and lead by example by providing a line-by-line breakdown of the 2021 budget of the House.
Part of the statement read “The State Assembly has continuously failed to open up his budget line by line. This is not good for our democracy. It is discouraging and has the tendency to abet corruption. A budget size of N1,421,573,394 may even be too small for the Assembly but without opening it up, we wouldn’t be able to suggest appropriately.
“The money appropriated for the Assembly belongs to the people and they deserve to know how it is being spent. The lawmakers are accountable to Kwarans who are the real owners of the money. We therefore, demand that the Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi, should disclose line by line details of the 2021 budget of the House and subsequent ones.
“By doing this, the Speaker would be leading by example, in enthroning public accountability and would leave behind a great legacy that Kwarans would be proud of, and history would be kind to him.”
BBYDI also queried the allocation of N240million for ‘Grassroots Development Projects’ under the Assembly’s 2021 budget, saying that such allocation was illegal as there is no provision for constituency projects in the Constitution of the House.
“The sum of N240m was voted for ‘Grassroot Development projects’ under the House budget. We would like to know if the Assembly is unaware that provision for constituency project is illegal and any attempt to change the name is tantamount to an affront on the intelligence of Kwarans,” the group said.