2019: INEC N242bn Budget Still Hanging, NASS Yet to Reconvene
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the budget of N242 billion for the 2019 general elections is still hanging as National Assembly is yet to announce the date both the upper and the lower chambers will reconvene.
Request for the approval was forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
But last week, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun after a meeting of the leadership, promised that the National Assembly will reconvene this week to consider the N242 billion INEC supplementary budget for the 2019 general elections.
While INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had earlier lamented that the Commission stand to lose six-month window for the procurement of some sensitive equipment to carry out the elections if the bill was not considered and passed within this period.
But the statement declaring the uncertainty of House reconvening this week was released on Tuesday, August 14, and signed by the media Advisers to the leaders of the two chambers.
The statement reads: “The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has directed that we inform all Senators, Honorable members, and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday, August 13, 2018.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans, and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.
“Until the Committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have traveled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”