Prof Mahmood Yakubu

INEC Adjusts 2019 Elections Budget To N143bn

The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has adjusted its

budget for 2019 elections from N189bn to N143bn in

compliance with directive from the National Assembly.

The Chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC, Senator

Suleiman Nazif, made this known to newsmen after a meeting in Abuja on

Tuesday, saying that INEC had effected the changes.

He said that the commission submitted a new budget reflecting N143

billion as originally requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nazif disclosed that a sub-committee had been set up to look at the

proposal and to point out any area of infraction to the committee,

adding that the committee was mandated to complete its assignment on

Aug. 29.

The National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC had on Monday,

recommended N143 billion for approval for the commission’s preparation

ahead of the 2019 general elections.

This is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request on July 11

when he sought the legislators’ approval of N242 billion for the

elections.

Specifically, he said that N164.10 billion of the funds was urgently

needed to enable INEC to commence preparations for the elections,

while the balance of N78.34 billion would be provided for in 2019

Budget.

The President had in his letter of request explained that the urgently

needed N164 billion would be allocated as follows: INEC, N143.51

billion; Office of National Security Adviser, N3.86 billion and

Department of State Services (DSS), N2.90 billion.

Others are Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, N1.85 billion;

Nigeria Police Force, N11.46 billion and Nigeria Immigration Service,

N530.1million.

The Senate Committee on INEC had on Aug. 16, queried the commission

for presenting a budgetary proposal of N189 billion for the elections,

saying it was at variance with the president for the polls.

This was because, though Buhari had in his letter requested for N189

billion for the 2019 elections, he said that N143 billion was urgently

needed by INEC to begin preparations for the polls.

The money is expected to be vired from the 2018 Budget, especially

from the N587 billion, which the president said was inserted by the

lawmakers into the budget, raising it from N8.6 trillion to 9.12

trillion.