- INEC has debunked alleged duplication in 2019 election budget
- The chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said that what the president did was to break INEC’s budget into two components
- He said the president asked that N143.5bn be taken from the 2018 budget, while N45.6bn should be appropriated in the 2019 budget
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied reports that there are duplication in its 2019 election budget.
The Punch reports that the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a statement on Sunday, August 26, that INEC’s version of the budget was different from the one President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the National Assembly.
NAIJ.com gathered that he explained that what the president did was to break INEC’s budget into two components.
Oyekanmi said the president asked that N143.5bn be taken from the 2018 budget, while N45.6bn should be appropriated in the 2019 budget.
The statement read in part, “It is not true, as contained in paragraph three of the story, that President Muhammadu Buhari presented N143bn as INEC’s budget to the National Assembly.
“Rather, he presented the same figure as INEC’s N189.2bn. There is thus no discrepancy. What the President did was to break the INEC budget into two components — he asked that N143.5bn be taken from the 2018 budget, while N45.6bn should be appropriated in the 2019 budget.”
He noted that when the lawmakers raised concerns over the method, the minister of budget and national planning, Senator Udo Udoma, told them that if they chose to post the entire sum of N189.2bn to the 2018 budget, “the President would oblige and then simply deduct the N45.6bn from the 2019 budget.”
He added: “Therefore, the impression being created that the president presented a different figure from INEC’s as the election budget to the National Assembly is wrong.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) on Wednesday, August 22, said that the federal government could fund next year’s general elections by invoking the doctrine of necessity should the National Assembly fail to pass the budget.
The Nation reports that the overriding necessity of elections and survival of democracy supersede the National Assembly’s powers where democracy is threatened. NAIJ.com gathered that Sagay, in a statement, said while the power to approve the budget is only a single item in the Constitution, democracy and its processes, including elections, are what the Constitution are about.
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