The Senate and House of Representatives have approved N242.2 billion for the execution of 2019 general elections.
The N242billion represents the budget of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) N189billion, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) N9.4billion, the Department of State Services (DSS) N10.2billion, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) N3.57billion, Nigerian Police Force (NPF) N27.3billion and Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) N2.6billion.
The approval followed the adoption of the report presented by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, following his committee’s consideration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter.
Recalled that last week, the Senate approved N234.5 billion for INEC alone. It added N45.5 billion to the initial N189 billion approved by the Senate Committee on INEC.
Senator Goje had said the decision to approve the INEC budget was informed by the urgent need for funds to begin preparations for the polls and recommended that the Senate approve N143,312,256,955 which was initially recommended by the INEC committee and the additional N45,965,015,438 be approved as part of the virement of the 2018 budget.
The President had written the Senate on Wednesday, requesting that the National Assembly approve N242 billion (242,445,322,600) as requested by INEC and security agencies for the 2019 elections.
He said the entire sum of N242 billion should be taken from other subheads in the 2018 Appropriation Act.
Presenting his report, Goje recommended that the aggregate sum of N242,245,050,100 only be approved as virement for the 2019 general elections operations for INEC and five security agencies.
He said, “the fund will be sourced from both Recurrent and Capital components of Special Intervention Programme captured in the Service Wide Votes of the 2018 Appropriation Act.”
The House of Representatives also approved the same budget, however, instead of a committee report, the House approved it through a motion moved by the Chairman committee on Appropriations Mustapha Dawaki (Kano, APC)