The Independent National Electoral Commission has denied reports that there are duplications in its 2019 election budget.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in a statement on Sunday that INEC’s version of the budget was different from the one President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the National Assembly.
He explained that what the President did was to break INEC’s budget into two components.
Oyekanmi said the President asked that N143.5bn be taken from the 2018 budget, while N45.6bn should be appropriated in the 2019 budget.
The statement read in part, “It is not true, as contained in paragraph three of the story, that President Muhammadu Buhari presented N143bn as INEC’s budget to the National Assembly.
“Rather, he presented the same figure as INEC’s N189.2bn. There is thus no discrepancy. What the President did was to break the INEC budget into two components — he asked that N143.5bn be taken from the 2018 budget, while N45.6bn should be appropriated in the 2019 budget.”
He noted that when the lawmakers raised concerns over the method, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, told them that if they chose to post the entire sum of N189.2bn to the 2018 budget, “the President would oblige and then simply deduct the N45.6bn from the 2019 budget.”
He added, “Therefore, the impression being created that the President presented a different figure from INEC’s as the election budget to the National Assembly is wrong.”