Few Months ahead of 2019 general election, president Buhari is proposing an estimate of N242, 445,322,600.00 as the aggregate cost to be used for 2019 elections but that only 164,104,792,065.00 is expected to be spent for urgent needs of the polls. This, the president seeks approval on from the National Assembly says “reasons because of fund constraints”
In a letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki to senators at the commencement of yesterday’s session, Buhari asked that the sum of N228,854 billion of the N578,319 billion worth of projects ‘inserted’ by the National Assembly into the 2018 budget be vired or converted for the purpose of funding the election.
This will also fund N64,749 billion worth of critical projects, which the assembly had earlier cut off from the budget.
The letter, tagged, ‘Request for Virement and Supplementary 2018 Budget’, reads: “As you are aware, the 2019 general election is scheduled to be conducted early in 2019.
To ensure that adequate arrangements are made for free and fair elections, it has become necessary to appropriate funds to enable the relevant agencies to commence preparations. INEC and the security agencies have accordingly recently submitted their requests.
These have been subjected to the usual budget evaluation. The aggregate cost of the elections is estimated at N242,445,322,600.00.”
He added: “In the light of prevailing fiscal constraints, I am proposing that the sum of N164,104,792,065.00 be provided for through virement or supplementation of the 2018 budget.
I propose that the balance of N78,340,530.535.00, mostly related to personal allowances, fueling and other costs not required until the election proper, be provided in the 2019 budget.”