National Assembly committee yet to decide on N189bn INEC budget

The national assembly committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to decide on if it should approve the entire INEC budget or some of it as recommended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, appeared before the committee on Friday to clarify the issues being raised on the budget.
In his remarks, the minister said the entire INEC budget is N189 billion but the president requested for the approval of N143 billion because the executive did not want an increase in the overall size of the 2018 budget.
The remaining N45 billion is expected to be a part of the 2019 budget.
During the session, members of the committee suggested that the entire N189 billion requested by INEC should be approved at once to be on the safe side.
The committee members said the suggestion was made because there is no guaranty that the 2019 budget will be passed earlier than February 2019; so as not to affect election activities.
Udoma did not object to the standpoint of the lawmakers on the condition that the amount is taken from the N578 billion insertion made by the national assembly into the 2018 budget.
This, he said, would ensure that the 2018 budget does not exceed the already approved N9.12 trillion.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Suleiman Nazif, chairman, senate committee on electoral matters, said there will be further deliberations on the budget before it is sent to the appropriation committee of both chambers.

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