Se­nate ap­proves N189bn INEC’s elec­tions bud­get

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

The Se­nate yes­ter­day ap­proved the sum of N189 bil­lion for the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) to con­duct the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

The ap­proval fol­lowed the adop­tion of the re­port of the Com­mit­tee on Ap­pro­pri­a­tions chaired by Sen Dan­juma Goje (APC, Gombe).

The N189bn, the Se­nate said, would come from the Ser­vice Wide Votes (SWV ) via vire­ment of the 2018 bud­get, and not by cut­ting some projects as re­quested by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

Pre­sent­ing the re­port be­fore se­na­tors at ple­nary, Goje the com­mit­tee rec­om­mended that the sum of N143.3bn and an ad­di­tional N45.6bn be ap­proved for INEC for the con­duct of the elec­tions, bring­ing the to­tal to N189bn.

Pres­i­dent Buhari had in July re­quested the Se­nate to ap­prove the N143bn un­der the 2018 bud­get and N45.6bn un­der the 2019 ap­pro­pri­a­tion.

How­ever, the pres­i­dent sent an­other let­ter on Wed­nes­day re­quest­ing that the amounts should be ap­proved at once un­der the 2018 bud­get.

The ap­pro­pri­a­tions com­mit­tee’s re­port said the source of the fund would be vire­ment from both re­cur­rent and cap­i­tal com­po­nents of the Spe­cial In­ter­ven­tion Pro­gramme cap­tured in the SWV in the 2018 bud­get.

The re­port in­di­cated that the INEC an­nual statu­tory bud­get of N45.5bn should be added to the elec­tions bud­get to bring the to­tal amount al­lo­cated for the com­mis­sion to N234.5bn.

Mean­while, the joint ap­pro­pri­a­tions com­mit­tee of both the Se­nate and the House has re­ferred the Of­fice of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser (ONSA), the Nige­ria Po­lice Force, the Nige­ria Se­cu­rity and Civil De­fence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nige­ria Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vice to rel­e­vant com­mit­tees to de­fend their own com­po­nents of the elec­tions bud­get.

Photo: NAN

From left: Pres­i­dent Guild of Ed­i­tors, Mrs Funke Egbe­mode; Vice Pres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo and Gov Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, ar­rive for the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 14th All Nige­ria Ed­i­tors Con­fer­ence in As­aba yes­ter­day

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