2019 Election Budget: We Revise Funding In Consultation With Executive – Senate

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Abuja – The upper chamber of the National Assembly yesterday said that the decision to rescind and revise the methods of funding of the supplementary budget of the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, was done in good faith,  after due consultation with the executive.

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, made this disclosure yesterday in a statement.

Recall that the N242 billion budgeted for the elections was split into two, to be funded by the Service Wide Vote and 30 Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs), as against the earlier decision of the National Assembly that the elections budget should be solely funded by Service Wide Vote.

While the Service Wide Vote takes care of N121 billion, the balance will be taken care of by the MDAs.

Senator Ibrahim said that on Tuesday, October 16th, the Senate had already passed the N242, 245, 050,100 virement request with the stipulation that it should be funded from the Service Wide Vote, but had to rescind, reconsider and revise its position following pressure on members of the Appropriations Committee by the Executive.

He said: “The insinuations being peddled that the Senate single-handedly and unilaterally cut the budgets of critical MDAs is false. Such actions are uncharacteristic of this 8th Senate.

“The facts remain that on Tuesday, October 16th, the Senate approved a Report that stipulated that the supplementary funding for INEC and security agencies to conduct the 2019 election should be sourced from the Service Wide Vote of the Executive through virement. This information is out everywhere.

“However, the Executive came up with a counter-proposal that asked that the election be funded through both the Service Wide Vote and the budgets of 30 MDAs —on a pro rata basis. This is why, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, had to come up with a Motion to rescind, reconsider and revise the source of funding contained in the original approval granted by the Senate.

“So, if you take a close look at the Senate’s Order paper of Wednesday, November 7, 2018, you will see that N121,122,525,050, which represents half of the entire supplementary budget, was sourced from 30 MDAs chosen by the Executive, while the other N121,122,525,050 was taken from the Service Wide Vote.

“As always, all Senators remain committed to ensuring that Nigeria has free, fair and credible general elections next year, and they will continue to collaborate with the Executive, members of the public and all other stakeholders to ensure that this happens.”

Source: independent.ng