The Senate, yesterday, approved a total sum of ₦189,207,544,893 for the conduct of the 2019 general election expenditure as proposed by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in supplementary budget.
According to the Senate, the approval became imperative to enable Nigeria prepare adequately for the elections.
Speaking at a meeting on the submission of harmonised report of INEC 2019 general election supplementary budget estimates of the Senate Committee on Appropriations in Abuja, yesterday, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), explained that after an exhaustive debate on report of joint committee on INEC and President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest letter, the committee decided to approve the entire N189 billion election budget for INEC.
Goje explained that INEC was allocated ₦143,512,529,455 as recommended by President Buhari for the 2019 general election in 2018 budget, the balance of ₦45,695,015,438 was requested for appropriation under 2019 budget.
Goje, who noted that the decision was sequel to reasons adduced by the president in the latest letter, said: “This committee has approved the entire ₦189 billion elections budget INEC proposed for the 2019 polls, which will be tabled on the floors of both chambers today for final approval.
“The other components of the ₦242 billion the President requested to be vired in the 2018 budget for conduct of the 2019 general elections will be considered today after meeting heads of the affected security agencies, such as the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Director General of Department of State Services etc.”
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Appropriations has summoned the Inspector General of Police; National Security Adviser, NSA; Director of DSS; Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, and Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, to appear before it today.
According to Goje, the agencies have been invited to appear to enable them defend their budgetary allocations.
He added that the committee, after wide consultations with INEC, decided on approval of the budgetary allocation.