By Christiana Ekpa
House of Representatives yesterday approved the release of the sum of N242.245 billion to Independent National Electoral Commission and four security agencies.
The approved funds were vired from the total sum of N500 billion provided in the Service Wide Vote of 30 federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the 2018 Appropriation Act, during the consideration of the proposal at the Committee of Supply.
The approval of the Appropriation came precisely 101 days to the 2019 general elections.
According to the document obtained by Peoples Daily, the budget of INEC and four security agencies in the 2018 Appropriation act was increased from N589,014,170,155 to N831,239,220,255.
With the development, the total allocation for INEC in the 2018 Appropriation Act was increased from N45 billion to 234.507 billion.
Office of the National Security Adviser’s allocation was increased from N37.467 billion to N46.949 billion.
The lawmakers also increased the allocation of Directorate of State Security (DSS) from N40.579 billion to N50.792 billion.
Similarly, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was raised from N79.261 billion to N82.834 billion.
Likewise, the appropriation for Nigeria Police was increased from N324.221 billion to N351.562 billion.
Peoples Daily reports that larger chunk of the fund were vired from key ministries.
Breakdown showed that, total sum of N25.528 billion was vired from Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; N12.955 vired from Federal Ministry of Water Resources; N7.466 billion vired from Federal Ministry of science and Technology; N7.086 billion vired from Federal Ministry of Industry, trade and Investment; N6.734 billion vired from Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; N11.058 billion was vired from Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; N8.845 billion was vired from Ministry of Budget and National Planning; N10.238 billion vired from Federal Ministry of Education; N8.059 billion vired from Federal Ministry of Health; N2.636 billion vired from Ministry of Defence.
According to the document, N828.501 million vired from Ministry of Communication Technology; N2.006 billion vired from Federal Ministry of Environment; N1.509 billion vired from Federal Capital Territory Administration; N1.738 billion vired from Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
N157.080 million vired from ICPC; N1.885 billion vired from Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; N1.676 billion vired from Ministry of interior; N170.430 million vired from National Human Rights Commission; N319,699 vired from Federal Ministry of women Affairs while N522.764 million was vired from Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
While presenting the motion titled: ‘Rescission of approval of the virement/supplementary budget for INEC and security agencies for the Conduct of the 2019 general elections’, Mustapha Dawaki, chairman,
House Committee on Appropriations explained the approval of the Virement/Supplementary budget for INEC and security agencies for the conduct of the 2019 general elections in the sum of N242,245,050,100 only, which is to be funded from the Service Wide Votes on the 16th October, 2018.
“The House is aware that given some imminent issues of national importance, the virement/supplementary request cannot be implemented as earlier approved.”