The National Assembly joint committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has slashed the earlier approved budget of the commission by over N200million.
The committee, after considering the initial request of N143,512,529,455.00 by INEC, approved N143,312,256,955,13 for the first tranche of the 2019 general election.
A total of N200,272,500.00 was removed from media production and airing of election jingles, conduct of training for continuous voter registration officials.
Others left out by the lawmakers are: Monitoring of the 2019 general election for regulatory compliance and local government grassroots enlightenment forums and outreach activities.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, who was at a news briefing yesterday with his House of Representatives counterpart, Aisha Dukku, said the request would be forwarded to the leadership of the National Assembly and the appropriation committees for further impute.
He said: “The joint committee considered the request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the first component of the election budget of N143,512,529,455.00 to be vired under the 2018 budget, due to reasons of financial constraints established in the presidential communication to the National Assembly; while the second component of N45, 695, 015,438.00 is expected to be funded by 2019 budget, also as requested by Mr. President.
“Importantly, both the request of Mr. president and INEC submission to the committee marked the total package for the 2019 general election at N189,207,544,893.00.
“Therefore, the committee remains available at all times to consider any further request from the presidency for the second component of the N45, 695, 015,438.00 for the general election.
“Subsequently, after signifying a reduction of N200,272, 500.00, these reductions cover item nos 64,74,125 and 167.
”Therefore, the received figure of N143,312,256,955,13 as reached is the recommendation of the joint committee that will be forwarded to the leadership and appropriation committee for further legislative consideration.