Green light appears as NASS committee concurs to N143bn election budget
Early signal that the 2019 general election would not suffer paucity of fund emerged at the National Assembly on Monday as the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters concurred to the N143 billion Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) budget as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Since the issue of INEC 2019 election cropped up, there have been discordant voices over why the agency failed to ab-initio, include 2019 elections in its budget of 2018.
The controversies stemmed from August 15, 2018, when the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in his presentation to the committee, demanded N189.2 billion.
However, in his letter of virement the presidency sent to the National Assembly, N189.2 billion was requested to be released to INEC – N143.5 billion be released this year and N45.6 billion be released in 2019.
But after over a week of deliberation on the matter, the chairman Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Suleiman Nazif said that N143 billion will be approved for INEC after an executive session.
According to him, “The joint committee sat and has come up with the resolution to adopt the N143 billion presented by Mr President”.
“It is also the wish of this committee that INEC then presents their budget of N143 billion as requested by Mr President.”
“Therefore, INEC has an opportunity to prioritise and this committee is ready to receive them tomorrow. This committee will be reconvening tomorrow by 1 pm so that we can consider the presentation by INEC,” Senator Suleiman Nazif said.