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2019: INEC bows to NASS, agrees with approved N143bn elections budget

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ABUJA—Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, bowed to the National Assembly, agreeing with the approved N143 billion 2019 elections budgetary request adopted on Monday by the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

With this development, INEC has now adjusted its budget for 2019 general elections from N189 billion to N143 billion, in compliance with directive from the National Assembly.

INEC had, before the adoption of the N143 billion budgetary request made on its behalf by President Muhammadu Buhari through a virement seeking letter he forwarded to the National Assembly last month, presented N189 billion request to the committee for approval.

But the National Assembly joint committee after about two weeks of brainstorming on the two requests, adopted the N143 billion the President sought in the letter, since the N45.6 billion difference was to be provided for in the 2019 budget.

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Submits reviewed budget for consideration

Against this backdrop, the commission, yesterday, submitted to the National Assembly a reviewed budgetary proposal to that effect for approval.

Announcing the compliance of INEC with the adopted N143 billion elections budget after a closed door session, yesterday, chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif (PDP Bauchi North), said the electoral body had sent a reviewed budget to the committee within the ambit of N143 billion.

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Nazif, who disclosed that a sub-committee had been established to look into the details of the new budget submitted by INEC, said it was expected to complete its assignment today and table it for consideration by 4 pm.

Also speaking with journalists, Senator Aliyu Sabi (APC Niger North), who gave assurances that the committee was determined to urgently complete work on the election budget, however, denied allegations that the committee was deliberately slowing down the process to frustrate moves to make the National Assembly reconvene.

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