Fiscal transparency in developing countries such as Nigeria could make civil society groups more efficient and bring positive development results that would ultimately lead to more government responsiveness, improved accountability and better development outcomes.
Thankfully and commendably, the Nigeria Senate under the leadership of Dr Bukola Abubakar Saraki is leaving no stone unturned by ensuring fiscal transparency remains a veritable virtue in the legislative agenda. This laudable gesture became more pronounced when Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) confirmed that its representatives met with the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to discuss issues relating to details of annual salaries and allowances of lawmakers. In a statement by Timothy Adewale, SERAP’s Deputy Director, the organization appreciated the expresed commitment by the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki to transparency and accountability of the National Assembly, and the rare opportunity to dialogue with him despite his tight schedule. It is now on record that the Senate President out of sheer humility has addressed the damaging, despicable and spurious allegations by Professor Itse Sagay, Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), that a Nigerian Senator gets N29 million in monthly pay, and over N3 billion a year. It impressive and heart pleasing to know that the National Assembly has uniquely positioned itself to act as a springboard in the fight against corruption and promote transparency, prudency and accountability matched with reality, this is a rare feat in Nigeria's body politic championed by Dr Bukola Abubakar Saraki. Without sounding immodest, Prof. Itse Sagay should be more saddled with finding facts and making comments based on truth; spreading rumours about the salaries and allowances of legislators when he could simply get the facts from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC) which is the body constitutionally charged with the responsibility of fixing salaries and allowances of all public officials is regrettable and should be condemned by all well meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy. Moreover Prof. Sagay’s comparison of remunerations of a U.S. president and a Nigerian lawmaker was not only laughable but a total disconnect with institutional facts and reality. Nigerians must vehemently reject the antics of the fifth columnists and detractors, but rather reiterate and resolutely project nothing but the truth about Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki who has painstakingly secured peace and unity in the Senate and the whole National Assembly, leading by example, communicating his vision, keeping up morale and maintaining a positive attitude. Saraki is indeed a trailblazer, national leader, the Chairman of the National Assembly (both the Red and the Green chambers) known to be consistently providing value based leadership, team-oriented, participatory and humane leadership that is making each parliamentarians and other Nigerians happy and proud.