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2019: Buhari Seeks N242bn For General Elections

President Muhammadu Buhari has sought Senate’s approval of N242.45 billion for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to begin preparations for the 2019 general election. He said part of the funds will be given to the Department of State Service (DSS), the Police and other security agencies for the same purpose. In…”
Yusuf
July 18, 2018 11:34 am

President Muhammadu Buhari has sought Senate’s approval of N242.45 billion for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to begin preparations for the 2019 general election.

He said part of the funds will be given to the Department of State Service (DSS), the Police and other security agencies for the same purpose.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki dated July 11 and personally signed by the president, Buhari requested that out of the needed figure, N164.10 billion should be provided through virement or supplementation of the 2018 Budget. He also requested that the balance of N78.34 billion, mostly related to personnel allowances, fuelling and other costs not required until election proper, be provided for in the 2019 budget.

In the letter, which was read by Saraki at plenary yesterday, the president noted that the sum of N189.21 billion is allotted for INEC, N4.3 billion for Office of the Security Adviser, N12.21 billion for DSS and N3.6 billion for Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The Nigeria Police Force got a proposal of N30.5 billion, while N2.6 billion was earmarked for Nigeria Immigration Service.

Buhari requested that N164.10 billion of total funds proposed for the elections should be funded from the N578.31 billion inserted in the 2018 Budget by the National Assembly.

He added that an additional N64.75 billion for reinstatement of critical project cuts in 2018 budget is to be funded from the “inserted funds’’, bringing total figure to get from the “inserted funds’’ to N228.85 billion.

The letter stated that the request to deduct N228.85 billion from the N578.31 billion was in view of fiscal constraint, which would not allow for over-burdening of the 2018 budget.

The president stated: “You will also recall that when I signed the 2018 Appropriation Act, I indicated the need to request the reinstatement of certain cuts made to certain critical projects provided in the original Executive Bill.

“I am therefore submitting for your consideration the reinstatement of the most critical of such cuts totalling N64, 749, 216, 150. The total amount required to be provided for in the 2018 budget for the 2019 general elections and to restore the identified critical projects to the amount earlier proposed is therefore N228, 854, 008, 215.

“Implementing budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 will be extremely challenging and therefore, I do not consider it expedient to propose further increase to the 2018 Expenditure Framework to fund these very important and critical expenditure items.

“Accordingly, I urge the Distinguished Senate to consider, in national interest, relocating some of the funds appropriated for new projects inserted into 2018 Budget totalling N578,319,951,904 to cover the N228, 854, 008, 215 required as indicated.

“While hoping that this request will receive the expeditious consideration of the Distinguished Senate, please accept the assurances of my highest consideration,” the letter stated.

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