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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Fresh crisis may hit presidency, Senate over INEC budget by Ukpono Etuk

There are indications that fresh crisis may hit the presidency and the National Assembly over the budget approved for the conduct of 2019 general elections. 

The Nation reports that the Senate Thursday, October 11, approved the sum of N189.2 billion for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the 2019 general elections. 

Humbsblog Nigeria gathered that this is coming as sharp disagreement appeared to have broken between the presidency and the upper chamber over the source of funding of the INEC budget. 

In its approval, the Senate refused to give nod that the N189.2 billion for INEC should be sourced from constituency intervention fund to fund the 2019 general elections. The upper chamber resolved that the fund should be sourced from the Special Intervention Programme, as provided in the Service Wide Votes of the 2018 Appropriation Act. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter addressed to the Senate president in July, requested the Senate to vire over N242 billion from the N500 billion the National Assembly inserted into the 2018 budget as its Constituency Intervention Funds. 
The fund, Buhari said, was to enable the INEC and security agencies to conduct the 2019 general elections. 

The Senate failed to approve the request due to its annual break in July. The joint Senate and House of Representatives committee on INEC and electoral matters, held a series of meetings with INEC officials to address some grey areas in the INEC request. 

The chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, said that members resolved to ask the presidency to find other sources of funding for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.