20170414

El-Rufai replies Reps: I Don’t Share Public Funds Like You

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna has fired back at the House of Representatives and its Speaker Yakubu Dogara over the National Assembly budget controversy.

“I don’t share public funds like you,” the governor told the lawmakers.

He was responding to Tuesday’s attack on him by Speaker Dogara, who published his pay slips. Besides, the Green Chamber, which accused the governor of distracting the National Assembly and advised him to face Kaduna’s problems.

The House accused El-Rufai of publishing what it called security budget as his security vote, challenging him to publish his personal security vote like the Speaker’s salary’s pay slip.

El-Rufai drew the ire of the lawmakers by challenging them to make their budget public. He told his challengers that there was nothing like security votes.

Faulting the legislators ‘unnecessary' distraction’s response to a simple request for a transparent National Assembly budget, El-Rufai picked holes in Dogara’s pay slip.

In a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, El-Rufai said: 
“The figures in the pay slips presented for the Honorable Speaker are in stark contrast to the declaration by The Economist regarding the earnings of NASS members. One of the claims cannot be right.”

Insisting that he has no security vote, the governor said: “The Kaduna State Government has presented details of its security budget. What was presented represents the only security vote for the entire government. As the figures show, there is no security vote for the Governor of Kaduna State.

This may be a shock to those used to the notion of security votes as barely disguised slush funds, but we do not operate such a system in Kaduna.

“Our budgets specify what is voted as assistance to security agencies, and its expenditure is properly recorded and accounted for. These are not monies given to or spent by the governor.

“If the leaders of the NASS have security votes allocated to or personally collected by them, they might wish to disclose such.

“Our security spending does not operate like the NASS system of sharing public funds in such an opaque fashion that even NASS members do not know how their entire budget is broken down or what the leadership gets as its ‘running costs’."