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Joint NASS Panel Fails To Reach Consensus On INEC Budget

Due to failure of the Joint National Assembly Panel to reach a consensus on the amount needed to be approved for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the lawmakers were forced to invite the Commission boss, Mahmud Yakubu for further clarification on the election’s budget.

INEC had presented N189 billion before the both Committees of the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

However, some lawmakers raised the an issue that in a letter sent by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the National Assembly a request of N143 billion was made in the 2018 budget for supplementary and virement while the Commission is expected to submit N46 billion for 2019 budget.

While some lawmakers argued that the National Assembly should give approval to  the N146 billion in the letter sent by the President Buhari.

Other lawmakers insisted that the whole N189 billion should be approved for INEC at once.

The development forced the lawmakers into closed door session which lasted for an hour.

Addressing newsmen after closed session, the chairman of the Committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif said there are differences in the budget and there is need to invite INEC Boss for clarification on the matter.

According to him, we have done what we need to do, but there are differences that we will need INEC chairman for clarification on it.

So we therefore invite the Commission boss to appear before us tomorrow for clarification.

It could be recalled that there was disagreement between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and President Muhammadu Buhari over proposed funding of the 2019 general elections ensued on Wednesday with the electoral body demanding for N189.207 billion as against N143billion the President requested the National Assembly to approve for it this year.

The President in the letter read at both chambers of the National Assembly on the 17th of last month, explained further that additional N45 billion out of the INEC’s component of the N242 billion , would be provided for in the 2019 budget estimates .

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