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N242bn INEC budget virement: We acted in consultation with the Executives – Senate

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The Senate on Friday said that its decision to rescind and revise the method of funding of the supplementary budget of the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, was done in good faith,  after due consultation with the executive arm of government.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, gave the explanation in a statement released by the Office of the Senate President.

The statement may have been informed by the insinuation that the Senate unilaterally reduced the budget of Ministries, Departments and Agencies with recourse to the affected MDAs.

Senator Ibrahim, in a statement, said that on Tuesday, October 16, the Senate had already passed the N242, 245, 050,100 virement request with the stipulation that it should be funded from the Service Wide Vote.

He noted that the Senate had to rescind, reconsider and revise its position on the source of funding of the virement following pressure on members of the Appropriations Committee by the executive.

He said: “The insinuations being peddled that the Senate single handedly and unilaterally cut the budgets of critical MDAs is false. Such actions are uncharacteristic of this 8th Senate.

The facts remain that on Tuesday, October 16, the Senate approved a report that stipulated that the supplementary funding for INEC and security agencies to conduct the 2019 election should be sourced from the Service Wide Vote of the executive through virement. This information is out everywhere.

However, the executive came up with a counter-proposal that asked that the election be funded through both the Service Wide Vote and the budgets of 30 MDAs —on a pro rata basis.

This is why, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, had to come up with a motion to rescind, reconsider and revise the source of funding contained in the original approval granted by the Senate.

So, if you take a close look at the Senate’s Order paper of Wednesday, November 7, 2018, you will see that N121,122,525,050, which represents half of the entire supplementary budget, was sourced from 30 MDAs chosen by the executive, while the other N121,122,525,050 was taken from the Service Wide Vote”, Ibrahim stated.

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