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2019: Senate approves N189bn INEC budget

The Senate has approved N189,007,272,393 for INEC for the 2019 General Election as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.
 
Breakdown of the amount shows that while N143.3 billion was allocated for 2018 for the Commission, lawmakers approved the sum of N45.6 billion for 2019.
 
This is to enable the electoral commission conduct the forthcoming election, which is barely four months away.
 
This followed the adoption of the interim report of the Joint Senate Committee on Appropriations and Finance at Thursday plenary.
 
Presenting the report, Chairman, Appropriations Committee, Danjuma Goje, said the source of funding the election should be vired from both recurrent and capital component of Special Intervention Programme captured in the Service Wide Votes of the 2018 Appropriation Act.
 
In his first letter dated July 11, 2018 President Buhari had requested that the election budget be taken from the over N500 billion inserted into the 2018 budget by lawmakers for various projects.
 
With this development, the committee slashed the Social Intervention Programme from N500 billion to N310 billion.
 
“It is pertinent to mention that the recommendations on this interim report cover provision for the Independent National Electoral Commission’s 2019 General Elections operations. In making this recommendation, the Committee took into account the report of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on INEC, which met several times with INEC during the recess to justify the need for the component component of the request,” Goje said.
 
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police; office of the  National Security Adviser (NSA); Department of State Services (DSS);  Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Thursday appeared before the Goje-led committee to defend their budgets for the election.
 
While the office of the NSA was allocated with the the sum of N4.2 billion for the conduct of the election, Nigeria Police got N30.5 billion. Others are DSS N12.2 billion, NSCDC N3.5 billion and NIS N2.6 billion.
 
The report of the committee on the security agencies’ elections budget is expected to be passed by next week.

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