Lawmakers to meet INEC Chairman over 2019 elections

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmud Yakubu is to appear before the joint leadership of the National Assembly on Tuesday for possible approval of the N242 billion budgeted for the 2019 general election.

The meeting is scheduled for 1pm (local time) at the Senate wing of the National Complex, precisely in room 301 of the building in Abuja.

According to the information from office of the Senate President, the meeting will pave way for possible reconvening of sittings of both chambers this month for consideration and approval of the budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari had forwarded the N242 billion budget estimates from INEC to the National Assembly for approval, before they went on recess in July.

President Buhari, in virement seeking letter, explained that out of the proposed N242,445,322,600.00 billion estimated funding of the 2019 general elections, N164.104 billion should be appropriated for by the National Assembly through virement, while the balance of N78.340 billon would be provided for in the 2019 budget provisions.

Proper preparations
He further explained that the N164 billion needed by INEC this year, should be expeditiously appropriated by the legislature for early and effective preparations for the elections. But the National Assembly, a week after receipt of the letter precisely on July 24 adjourned for its yearly long recess without considering the request, making the presidency, to clamour for its reconvening before the fixed resumption date slated for September 25.

Members of the NASS leadership expected to converged at Tuesday’s meeting slated for 12noon before the planned interface with the INEC boss are; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Kasun Yusuf and the remaining 16 principal officers from both chambers.

The meeting would put to rest the “rumoured forceful” reconvening of the Senate by the All Progressive Congress, APC Senators on one hand and whether the entire National Assembly need to reconvene before the September date for consideration of INEC’s budgetary request for the 2019 elections.

 

Sammie Idika