Saturday, 22nd January 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

National Assembly passes 2022 budget today as INEC seeks N305b for 2023 polls

By John Akubo, Abuja
21 December 2021   |   3:16 am
The National Assembly is to consider and pass the 2022 Appropriation Bill today. Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin Barau, who gave the indication yesterday in Abuja..

[FILES] National Assembly

Ekiti East by-election suspended indefinitely

The National Assembly is to consider and pass the 2022 Appropriation Bill today. Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Jibrin Barau, who gave the indication yesterday in Abuja, assured Nigerians that reasonable vote would be allocated to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He spoke after the electoral umpire presented before the legislature, N305 billion as its projected expenditure for the 2023 general elections.

Barau observed: “The report of this committee on the 2022 budget proposals will be laid in plenary at both chambers on Tuesday (today), to be considered and passed.”

THIS is even as INEC said it has indefinitely suspended the Ekiti East by-election after four unsuccessful attempts.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said, while addressing the committee in Abuja.

The panel had, in view of the 2023 polls, invited Yakubu to bring before it the commission’s projected expenditure for the exercise for the purposes of capturing it in the 2022 budget billed for passage by both chambers of the National Assembly today.

According to the INEC boss, the N305 billion is exclusive of the electoral agency’s N40 billion yearly budget. He said though N100 billion had been given to the commission as first tranche from the total projected expenditure, Yakubu clarified that it would not be enough for adequate preparations.

His words: “The commission made a submission through the executive being part of the executive body. We made a submission for N305 billion for the 2023 general elections in a very comprehensive 22-page document with 260 budget lines.

“In submitting the executive proposal to the National Assembly, the sum of N140 billion was made available to INEC as a one line item in the budget, and as usual, we broke it down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both the House and the Senate.

“The N140 billion was broken into two – we take it that N40 billion is our regular budget as an agency of government – and N100 billion was the first tranche of the 2022 budget and we have gone ahead to make provisions accordingly.”

Yakubu added: “The N40 billion annual budget includes elections that we are supposed to conduct, particularly off-season polls. It may interest the committee to know that we have eight by-elections pending – three federal constituencies and five state constituencies. In fact, the last vacancy occurred only last Wednesday following the death of a member representing Jiwa West in Kaduna State.”

In making case for more releases from the N205 billion balance, the INEC chair highlighted to the lawmakers activities that must be carried out ahead of the 2023 general elections.

On the controversial Ekiti East by-election, Yakubu said it had been suspended indefinitely after four futile attempts. He lamented that during the last effort, voters were killed on the queue, with security operatives and electoral officers murdered at polling units.

“INEC will never reward bad behaviour. The election can only be repeated in June next year during the gubernatorial election,” the INEC chief stressed.