The Nigerian National Assembly’s Joint Committee on election matters says the country’s electoral Commission is now effectively positioned to provide free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
The Chairman of the joint committee as well as Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif stated this while briefing Journalists in Abuja on the Consideration of the INEC budget for 2019 General Election.
Senator Suleiman said the Committee had considered and approved the first component of the Election Budget of one Hundred and Forty Three point Three Billion Naira to be vied under the 2018 budget as contained in the President’s communication to the National Assembly.
“The Committee has considered and approved the request for the first component of the Election Budget of one Hundred and Forty Three point Three Billion Naira to be vired under the 2018 budget due to reasons of financial constraint established in the President’s communication to the National Assembly.” Senator Suleiman said.
The Chairman also admitted that out of the Budget, a reduction of over Two Hundred million was made during the consideration on items that would not at any way affect the conduct of the election.
Senator Suleiman further explained that “The effected reductions were carried on items number 64,74,125 and 167 of the items listed to the National Assembly which are mostly issues related to publicity and enlightenment, being carried out by National Orientation Agency and other relevant stakeholders.”
Senator Suleiman Nazif gave the assurance that the Committee would consider expeditiously any further presentations that becomes necessary for the smooth operation of the Electoral body.
The report of the joint committee will be presented before the two chambers of the Nigerian Bi-Cameral legislative for adoption and passage.
The request came to the National Assembly few days to their annual recess that begins on July 24.
Nigerians expected that the lawmakers would suspend the recess in order to deliberate and pass the request giving its National importance.
However, reaching a consensus between the Senate and House of Representatives’ Committees on Electoral Matters will pave the way for the lawmakers to reconvene and adopt the report.