Senators Disagree on 2019 Election Budget Proposal

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    Deji Elumoye in Abuja

    The National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters reconvened on Thursday afternoon to consider the budget proposal for the 2019 general elections with Senators canvassing different positions.

    The Committee headed by Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North) is meeting to harmonise the two funding positions canvassed by President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmud.

    Hardly had the Committee resumed sitting in Senate Room 328 when Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) started pushing for the Committee to approve the N189 billion request made by INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu Mahmud, before the National Assembly committee on Wednesday.

    This position didn’t go down well with Senator Mohammed Hassan (Yobe South) who objected to Omo-Agege’s call and said the joint committee should recommend the release of N143 billion for INEC as contained in the 2019 Election Budget proposal letter sent by President Buhari to the National Assembly in July.

    It took the intervention of the Committee Chairman, Senator Nazif, for the tension to die down as some other committee members were already on their feet ready to add their voices to the raging issue.

    Senator Nazif at this point announced that the meeting will be held behind close door and requested that the media should vacate the venue.

    Some House of Representatives members of the joint committee later joined their Senate counterparts at the meeting which is on-going as at press time.

    Details later…