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The Senate Committee on Appropriation on Wednesday agreed to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for virement of N189 billion for the organisation of the 2019 general election.

Buhari had in a letter sent to the Senate on September 21, 2018 requested for virement the from the 2018 budget for the conduct of 2019 general election.

Though the total fund needed, according to Buhari’s letter, is N242 billion, but the Independent National Electoral Commission will take N189 billion from it.

At the Committee on Appropriation meeting chaired by Senator Danjuma Goje, the lawmakers unanimously agreed to approve N189 billion needed by INEC for the 2019 general election.

According to the Committee, the report will be submitted for consideration on Thursday at plenary, while and the Security Agencies are expected to come before the Committee to defend their budget for the elections.

Buhari had in the letter said: “You may recall that in my letter dated 11th July, 2018 I requested for the kind consideration of the National Assembly for a virement under the 2018 Appropriation Act. Part of this request was the funding of the request made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies goe the 209 general elections.

“In that letter, I indicated that INEC, and the Security Agencies had indicated that their total funding requirements for the 2019 elections would amount to N242 billion of that amount, I have requested that N164 Bill ion be accommodated in the 2018 budget, by way of virement within the 2018 Appropriation Act, whilst the balance of N78 billion should be considered by the National Assembly as part of the 2019 budget.

“When the Hon. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, appeared before the joint Committee of the National Assembly, set up to consider my request accommodating the total amount required for the finding of the 2019 elections as part of the virement of the 2018 Appropriation Act, provided there was a specific request by me.

“In the light of the current realities, and in order to ensure that the 2019 general elections are not affected by any delays in the passage into law of the 2019 budget, I accept this kind suggestion. I therefore wish to formally request that total amount of N242 billion requested by INEC and the Security Agencies, be considered for inclusion in my virement request under the 2018 Appropriation Act.”

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