The National Assembly may reconvene next week to approve the election budget proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Daily Trust has learnt.
Indication to such possibility emerged after a meeting between the National Assembly leadership and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu yesterday in Abuja.
Buhari had on July 17 requested the National Assembly to approve N242 billion for the 2019 elections, out of which the sum of N164.1bn would be approved under virement/supplementary proposal in the 2018 budget.
It was gathered that the National Assembly was ready to approve the N164.1bn under this year’s budget, while the balance would be appropriated in the 2019 budget.
Prof Yakubu told journalists at the end of the meeting that the National Assembly had agreed to appropriate for the elections funds, and that it could be next week.
“The most important thing to say is that INEC was invited to meet with the National Assembly leadership on how the proposed budget for the 2019 elections can be speedily considered and appropriated by the National Assembly.
“We have been assured of speedy passage of the budget, perhaps as early as next week,” he said.
Senator Philip Aduda, one of the principal officers, said if need be, they would reconvene to consider the election budget, noting that they would have to discuss and fix a date to ensure the supplementary budget passage.
At the opening session of the meeting, the INEC chairman told the lawmakers that the commission has eight days from yesterday to commence its election activities, which needed to be cash backed.