ADEKUNLE ADESUJI, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday informed lawmakers that not less than N242 billion will be needed for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
President Buhari in a letter sent to National Assembly dated July 11and addressed to Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki , said both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Security agencies have submitted their requests in preparation for 2019 general elections.
He proposed the sum of N164 billion to be provided for through virement or supplementary of the 2018 budget.
He added, ” I propose that the balance of N78 billion mostly related to personal allowances, fueling and other costs not required until election proper to be provided in their 2019 budget.
In the letter the total money needed by INEC for 2019 elections – N189 billion, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) – N4.2 billion, Department State Security (DSS) – N12.2 billion, (NSCD)- N3.5 billion, Nigerian Police – N30.5 billion, Immigration – N2.6 billion.
President Buhari however shocked the National Assembly by asking the lawmakers to remove N228 billion from N578 billion appropriated for new projects inserted into 2018 budget.
He said, “The total amount required to be provided for in the 2018 budget for the general elections and to restore the identified critical projects to the amount earlier proposed is therefore N228.8 billion.
“Implementing a budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 will be extremely challenging and therefore, I do not consider it expedient to propose a further increase to the size of the 2018 Expenditure Framework to fund these very important and critical expenditure items.
” Accordingly, I invite the distinguished Senate to consider, in the National interest, reallocating some of the funds appropriated for the new projects which were inserted into the 2018 budget proposal totaling N578 .3 billion to cover the sum of N228.8 billion required as noted above.”
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