Polls Budget: Senate Makes U-Turn, Approves Virement from MDAs’ Appropriation

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The Senate in session

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate wednesday rescinded its earlier decision to fund the N242.245 billion 2019 general elections budget from the Service Wide Vote.

The upper legislative chamber had on October 16 while considering the report of its Appropriation Committee headed by Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) given an approval for the N242.245 billion 2019 polls budget to be funded from the Service Wide Votes.

Three weeks after, Goje and 18 other senators at Senate plenary yesterday sponsored another motion entitled ‘Rescission and Reconsideration of the Senate Approval of Virement/ Supplementary Budget for Independent National Electoral Commission and Security Agencies for The Conduct of the 2019 General Elections’ to rescind Senate’s earlier decision on mode of funding 2019 general polls.

Goje in moving the motion drew the attention of the Senate to the fact that due to some obvious and imminent issues of national socio-economic importance, the earlier approved virement/supplementary request cannot be implemented.
The Senate, thereafter, rescinded and reconsidered its October 16 approval of the request as contained in resolution (S/RS/027/04/8) in line with Order 53(6) of its Standing Order.

Order 53(6) of the Senate Standing Orders states, “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”

The upper chamber of the National Assembly in approving N242.245 billion for INEC (N189.007bn) and five other agencies namely Office of the National Security Adviser (N9.481bn); Department of State Security (N10.213bn); NSCDC (N3.573bn); Nigeria Police Force (N27.341bn) and Nigeria Immigration Service (N2.628bn) for the conduct of the 2019 general polls, emphasised that the fund will be sourced from 2018 Appropriation of 30 federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) and Service Wide Vote (Special Intervention Programme).

While the 30 MDAs will fund the 2019 polls to the tune of N121.122 billion, the remaining N121.122 billion will be sourced from the Special Intervention Programme of the Service Wide Vote.

A breakdown of the MDAs funding include Power, Works and Housing- N25.52bn; Water Resources, N12.95bn; Agriculture and Rural Development, N11.05bn; Budget and National Planning, N8.84bn; Communication Technology, N828.50m; Defence, N2.63bn; Education-N10.23bn; Environment- N2.006bn; Federal Capital Territory Administration-N1.508bn; Foreign Affairs-N1.73bn; Health, N8.059bn; ICPC, N157.08m; Information and Culture, N1.88bn; Interior, N1.67bn and National Human Rights Commission, N170.43m.

Others are Justice, N557.93m; Labour and Employment, N2.72bn; Mines and Steel Development, N461.39m; Niger Delta Affairs, N1.19bn; Office of National Security Adviser, N1.12bn; Office of the Head of Service, N38.74m; Office of the SGF, N6.73bn; Petroleum Resources, N20.94m; Presidency, N1.24bn; Public Complaints Commission, N48.17m; Science and Technology, N7.46bn; Industry, Trade and Investment, N7.08 bn; Transportation, N2.28bn; Women Affairs, N319.69m and Youth and Sports Development, N522.76m.