The National Assembly joint committee on INEC has approved N143bn for the 2019 general elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in July requested for the House approval of the money to enable the election umpire prosecute the 2019 general elections.
The committee reached this resolution after over a week of deliberation on the matter.
Buhari, in his letter to the Senate, requested that N189.2bn be released to INEC. He asked that N143.5bn be released this year and N45.6bn be released in 2019.
However, the Chairman of the electoral commission, Mahmood Yakubu, in his presentation, demanded for the entire N189.2bn.
The commission’s request caused members of the committee to again deliberate on whether to grant INEC’s request or that of the president.
The committee had failed to harmonise the divergent positions of the Senate and the House of Representatives last week, necessitating an adjournment for more consultations to be made.
While some members of the panel suggested that the entire N189bn be approved as requested by INEC, others were of the opinion that approving the entire amount will be going against the President’s request.
Majority of the members including the Chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif had on August 17, moved that the committee accept INEC requests and refer it to the Committee on Appropriation to determine how the funding will be made.
On Monday, the committee Chairman announced that N143bn will be approved for INEC, after an executive session which lasted for about 40 minutes.
He said the approval was in line with the President’s request.
“The joint committee sat and has come up with the resolution to adopt the N143 billion presented by Mr. President.
“It is also the wish of this committee that INEC then present their budget of N143bn as requested by Mr. President.
“Therefore, INEC has an opportunity to prioritise and this committee is ready to receive them tomorrow. This committee will be reconvening tomorrow by 1pm so that we can consider the presentation by INEC,” he said.