Senate to approve N143bn elections budget today

The Senate is expected to approve the proposed N143.512 billion for the conduct of the 2019 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) today.

Senate President Bukola Saraki gave the indication of the approval yesterday when he directed the Senate Committee on Appropriations to present the report of the elections budget today.

This is even as President Muhammadu Buhari sent a new letter for virement seeking Senate’s approval for the entire elections fund to be approved ‎this year.

The president had in his earlier virement request to the National Assembly in July said N143.512bn be approved this year, while the sum of N45.7bn be approved under the 2019 budget.

The elections budget came up for second reading as Saraki referred it to the appropriations committee and permitted members of the Sen Danjuma Goje-led committee to leave plenary and attend to the matter.

At a brief meeting of the committee, Goje told journalists that the appropriations committee has approved the N143.512bn request as forwarded to it by the committee on electoral matters chaired matters.

“For now, we have agreed to approve the sum of N143bn for INEC for the conduct of the elections. That is the report we’re going to submit to the Senate tomorrow (today).

“As for the other components of the elections budget, we shall invite the NSA, the IGP, the CG of Immigration and other relevant agencies ‎to appear and defend their own component of the budget,” he said.

Daily trust

Hassan Usman Author

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