About N143 billion has been approved by the national assembly joint committee on the Inddependent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 elections.
The amount approved by the body was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the legislature earlier in the year but they refused to approve N45.6bn proposed to be wired from the 2019 budget.
Buhari had requested in a letter he wrote to the senate, that N189.2 billion be released to INEC. According to him, N143.5 billion should be released this year and N45.6 billion in 2019.
Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, explained that Buhari requested the approval of N143 billion because he did not want an increase in the overall size of the 2018 budget.
According to him, if the joint committee wish to approve the entire N189billion without resulting into increase in the N9.12trillion 2018 budget size, so be it and would be appreciated by the executive.
“Mr President will have no objection to the national assembly approving the entire N189billion INEC budget as long as it does not in anyway, lead to increase in the overall size of the 2018 budget,” he had told the committee.
“If this is to be done, the N45.6billion the president in his letter proposed to be provided for in the 2019 budget, would also have to be vired along with the N143billion from the N578billion fund appropriated for in the 2018 budget by the national assembly for the additional 1,403 projects included in the budget.”