Fresh committee to review revised INEC budget for 2019 polls

The national assembly has set up an ad-hoc committee to review the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 elections.

The national assembly joint committee had adopted N143 billion for the polls out of the total N189 billion as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning, had said the president requested the approval of N143 billion because he did not want an increase in the overall size of the N9.12trillion 2018 budget.

He said if the joint committee wishes to approve the entire N189billion without resulting in an increase in the budget, it would be appreciated by the executive.

At its resumed sitting on Tuesday where INEC presented the N143 billion budget, the committee said the ad-hoc panel is to ensure the reviewed budget complies with what was sent earlier.

Addressing journalists after the closed-door session, Mao Ohuabunwa, a member of the committee said the committee is expected to submit it’s findings on Wednesday.

He said: “INEC was mandated to bring the break down based on the N143 billion. They have brought it and we set up an ad-hoc committee to look at it with what they brought earlier and if there are areas of discrepancies, we would invite them to defend.

“But we have adjourned to allow the sub-committee to holistically look at the break down. So that we would reconvene at 4pm Wednesday.

“When we look at it, the defense is depending on what we discover. If there are areas we are not in agreement with or we need further explanation, we would invite them to clarify.”

The national assembly is expected to cut short its recess to reconvene and pass the budget when the committees conclude work on it.