- As Tajikistan, Uzbekistan resume flights after 25 years
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Monday, accepted the challenge of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yabubu Dogara, by releasing details of his security vote, salary and allowances.
The governor also released the disbursements to the 23 Local Government Areas in the state.
El-Rufai, while releasing the details, again challenged the National Assembly members to do likewise.
The governor said the federal legislature had the most opaque budget in the country, adding that Nigerians had spent N1tn on the lawmakers without knowing the details.
The governor had, at the National Assembly retreat in Kaduna on Friday, dared members of the federal lawmakers to disclose details of their N115bn budgetary allocation, salaries and allowances.
Dogara was reported, on Saturday, to have challenged el-Rufai and other governors to publish their security votes.
In a statement on Monday by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, el-Rufai said he had nothing to hide.
The February pay slip of the governor indicates that his monthly pay was N470, 521.71 after deductions.
According to the pay slip, details of the monthly pay include basic salary, N185,308.75; hardship allowance, N370,617.50; gross pay, N555,926.25, PAYE N85,404.51; total deduction amounts to N85,401.51 while the net pay stands at N470,521.74.
The governor noted that the amount might appear puny, but it reflected what the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission approved as the salary and allowances of governor “adjusted to reflect provision in-kind of accommodation and transportation.”
He said he accepted Dogara’s challenge as a necessary step to improve and strengthen the nation’s democracy.
El-Rufai stated that he had consistently made the budget of the state public unlike the National Assembly budget “which is a single line item of over N100bn that divulges zero information or details.”
In the meantime, after a 25-year break, fractious Central Asian neighbours Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have reestablished regular connecting flights, a spokeswoman at Tajikistan’s international airport told AFP on Tuesday, paving the way for improved relations.
“An Uzbekistan airways flight (from Tashkent) landed at Dushanbe international airport at 8:03 am (0303 GMT),” the airport spokeswoman told AFP by telephone.
“The plane and the passengers were very well met.”
Doubts were cast over an apparent rapprochement between the two countries that have a traditionally fraught relationship when a long-awaited flight from Dushanbe to Tashkent was abruptly cancelled in February.
Uzbekistan first banned flights from Tajikistan in 1992 after the outbreak of civil war in its smaller neighbour to the east.
The ban remained in place after the war’s end, as long- reigning autocrats Emomali Rakhmon of Tajikistan and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan regularly clashed over water and other issues.
Karimov was buried in his native city of Samarkand after a suspected stroke in September last year and successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has moved to smooth ties with neighbours in the majority-Muslim ex-Soviet region.
Punch with additional report from Zee