Nigeria’s main opposition party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency to lead by example by publishing details of its expenditure to the public.
The party also urged the Presidency to publish the names of its beneficiaries, the purpose for the payment and the amount paid.
The PDP said this in a statement issued by Kola Ologbodiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Monday in reaction to the launch of the Open Treasury Portal and the Financial Transparency Policy and Implementation Guidelines by the Federal Government.
At the launch of the portal last week, President Buhari, who was represented by Tayo Alasoadura, Minister of State for Niger Delta, gave a directive that all payments in excess of N5 million must be disclosed by Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), while all transactions above N10 million must be published on the treasury portal.
However, the major opposition party insisted that it goes beyond a single directive from the Presidency to promote accountability and transparency within the current Federal Government.
The party said it is imperative for the Presidency to disclose its spending to Nigerians, considering that there are unconfirmed reports about individuals close to the government living a very opulent lifestyle while the majority of the citizens struggle to survive.
The statement read: ” The PDP says it is not enough for President Buhari to issue spending directives to MDAs, without his Presidency, which received billions of naira in budgetary allocation, leading by example.
“Nigerians deserve to know how much is allocated to the Presidency, the various expenditure subheads, process of award of contracts, the contractors, the beneficiaries, amounts paid and payment system.
“Perhaps such would explain why certain individuals who are close to the Presidency live in ostentatious opulence and flaunt very expensive lifestyle in the same country where millions of citizens wallow in abject poverty, hunger, homelessness and disease.”
The PDP also described as “worrisome” the failure of the Presidency to open its budget and expenditure to the Nigerian public despite clamours for openness and transparency.
This lack of openness, it said, “raises anxieties and allegations of huge sleazes and corrupt concealments against certain officials and cabal in the Presidency”.
The party, therefore, challenged the President and the Presidency to clear up the anxieties by publishing the details of its budget and expenditure for the Nigerian public.