By Rafiu Ajakaye
A Nigerian governor has released full details of his own monthly pay along with blow-by-blow accounts of how funds allocated to his state have been spent since he assumed office in 2015.
Nasir el-Rufai, governor of northwestern Kaduna state, on Tuesday evening published his official pay slip in response to an open challenge by the speaker of the country's House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The move is rare in a country known for official cover up of government expenditure.
“El-Rufai is today making publicly available his pay-slip as Governor of Kaduna State. In February 2017, the Kaduna State Government paid the Governor a net salary of N470,521.74 ($1,518) with the following details,” the governor said in a statement.
The statement pegs his monthly gross pay at $1,793, but went a step further to disclose details of the so-called security votes which runs into billions of local currency naira as well as how it was spent.
Last Friday, el-Rufai and the parliament speaker - both of the ruling All Progressives Congress - met at an event where the governor added his voice to calls on the parliament to open its humongous $484m annual budget for public scrutiny instead of keeping it as a line item.
Rather than agreeing to open the budget as was demanded by Nigerians and top civil society groups, the speaker asked the governor to first publish his security votes and his full pay.
“The call to #OpenNASS is not a personal one. It is one which the leadership of the National Assembly owes to all Nigerians,” the governor said in the Monday statement.
“It is therefore disingenuous for the speaker to use state government budgets as the excuse for the opacity of the NASS [National Assembly of Nigeria] budget.
"There is no state government in Nigeria with a budget nearly as opaque as that of NASS. In March 2016, this National Assembly, led by its chairman, promised to provide a detailed breakdown of the national assembly budget. Nigerians are waiting,” he added.
The parliament speaker was yet to respond to the governor's disclosures.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.