Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday told former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, not to hold an individual or group of individuals responsible for the mistakes of everybody in the past.
Saraki, who made the statement when he was confronted with questions by the Senate correspondents in Abuja, explained that all politicians were part of the things that went wrong in the country since 1999.
Responding to a question on the secrecy of the National Assembly budget and corruption leveled against it by Obasanjo in a recent letter, Saraki said that he would rather not trade blames on the woes afflicting the country now.
Saraki said that what is needed from all stakeholders is collective participation for the good of all Nigerians.
“We’ve all been here since 1999 up to the recent past when things were not done right, we are all part of it. I was there, you were there, every other political office holders in different capacities were there as well.
“My own view from the 8th National Assembly is that the time for collective participation for the good of all Nigerians is here with us in line with the change mantra of the present administration. We are all on the same page for things to be done differently.
“I think what we need now from all stakeholders, is more of cooperation, encouragement and participation as opposed to trying to hold one person responsible for the mistakes of the past that we are all part of. It is clearly not the right thing needed now.
“I appeal to you, appeal to all Nigerians that we should work together just as I assure you all that we will do well here in NASS to practically complement the change agenda,” he said.
He, however, promised that details of the N115 billion National Assembly budget on section-by-section basis would be transparently put into the public domain this year as against the practice of one item of the past.
He disclosed that the National Assembly would soon come up with an amendment bill on the procurement process towards ensuring strict and transparent implementation of the N6.08 trillion 2016 Budget.
According to him, the implementability of the 2016 Budget proposal as presented by the executive would be decided at the stage it is now in the National Assembly.
“Before we put our signatories to it, we need to be sure, if it’s implementable,” he said.
The UNION reports that the 2016 Budget is in the stage of its defence by the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), which commenced on Monday, February 1 to run till Monday, February 15.
He, however, stated that rather than the fallen oil price benchmark, the two critical issues to be monitored and managed for successful implementation of the Budget would include the issues of expected revenues from non oil and independent sources aside that of funding the huge deficit.