2019 polls budget: NASS panels approves N143bn, reject N18
The Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committees on Electoral Matters have adopted N143bn as the workable budget for the 2019 polls.
The committee members, just rising from a meeting at the National Assembly, rejected the earlier version of N189.2bn, a combination of the N143bn and another N45.6bn proposed to be vired from the 2019 budget.
The lawmakers said they would stick to only N143bn.
The National Assembly Joint Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission adopted President Muhammadu Buhari’s N143bn budget request for 2019 General Elections, as against the commission’s N198bn request.
The chairman of the joint committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, made this known after about 30 minutes’ joint session on Monday in Abuja.
He asked the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to appear before it on Tuesday by 1p.m. to present its budget afresh to reflect N143bn rather than the N189bn earlier submitted.
“The joint committee has sat and deliberated the position to adopt the N143bn as presented by Mr. President.
“It is also the wish of this committee that INEC re-present their budget of N143bn as requested by Mr. President.
“INEC has the opportunity to re-prioritise, and this committee will be ready to receive their report tomorrow.
“The committee will be reconvening tomorrow by 1 ‘O’ clock so that we can consider the presentation by INEC,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Senate Committee on INEC on Aug. 16, queried the commission for presenting a budgetary proposal that was at variance with the one presented by the president for the polls.
The INEC chairman had presented a proposal of N189bon to the Senate Committee on INEC and requested its approval at once.
NAN recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a letter dated July 11, also requested the National Assembly to approve the sum of N189bn for the 2019 General Elections.
However, he requested the National Assembly to approve N143.52bn in the form of virement from the 2018 Budget.
He added that the balance of N45 billion would be included in the 2019 Budget.
However, INEC presented a budget of N189 billion, requesting that it be approved as a lump sum by the National Assembly. Source: Punch