The Senate on Wednesday reconsidered its approval of Virement and Supplementary Budget for conduct of 2019 elections budget solely from the Service Wide Votes.
The Upper Chamber resolved that contrary to the earlier resolution, the budget of N242.2billion would be funded from Service Wide Votes and 30 Ministries, Agencies and Departments(MDAs)
The resolution followed a motion by the Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Danjuma Goje, at plenary.
The Upper Chamber in a voice vote, resolved that half of the amount would be sourced from the MDAs, while the other half would be sourced from the Service Wide Votes.
Consequently, the sum of N121.122bn would be sourced from the Service Wide Votes, while N121.122bn would come from the MDAs.
A breakdown of the amount to be sourced from the MDAs include -N25.527 billion-Power, Works and Housing; N12.6billion-Water Resources; N11billion-Agriculture and Rural Development;
Others are: N10.238billion- Education and N8billion-Health; N8.9 billion-Budget and National Planning; N7.5 billion-Science and Technology;
Others are: N6.7 billion-Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); N7billion-Trade and Investment; N2.7 billion-Labour and Employment among others.
Meanwhile, there was a twist to the consideration for the budget as Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi) raised objection to the N27.3bn allocated to the Nigerian Police Force(NPF)for conduct of the elections.
He said it was unjustifiable to allocate such huge amount of money to the NPF, in view of the fact that many Nigerians were “battling with hunger.”
Goje, however, countered Melaye’s observation, saying the amount had been approved before and that the only change was the source of funding.
“I want to correct the impression created by the last speaker. There is usually massive deployment during elections.
“The amount may even be too small because you’re going to have policemen in every polling unit,” Goje said.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said while there was nothing wrong in ensuring funding for election, implementation should be investigated.
The Senate consequently mandated committees on Police Affairs and other security agencies to investigate how the police applied funds for the 2011 and 2015 general elections and report back in two weeks.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the Senate had approved the sum of N242.2 billion for the 2019 general elections.
Of the amount, N189 billion was earmarked for independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and N9.5 billion- Office of the National Security Adviser.
Others are: N10.2 billion- department of State Security(DSS), N5.6 billion-National Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), N27.3 billion-Nigeria Police Force and N2.6 billion-Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).