President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a supplementary budget to the National Assembly for consideration for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
In letter to the Senate, titled “Request for virement and supplementary 2018 budget’’ Buhari said Nigeria would need N254 billion to prosecute the 2019 general election.
The president urged the approval of the sum which he said would be drawn from both the 2018 and 2019 budgets.
Buhari appealed to the National Assembly to remove projects earlier inserted into the budget and replace them with priority projects as contained in the original bill.
While assenting to the 2018, Buhari noted that the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.
Also contained in the letter is the supplementary budget of N242 billion (N242,445,322, 600) to fund six agencies in the 2019 general election.
Of the total sum, N164 billion (N164,104,792,065) will be drawn from the 2018 supplementary budget while N78 billion (N78,314,530,535) will form part of the 2019 budget of these agencies.
Below is Mr Buhari’s letter:
Request for virement and supplementary 2018 budge.
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 election, it has become necessary to appropriate funds to enable the relevant agencies to commence preparations.
The President had in June disclosed that he was going to send a supplementary budget after raising concerns about some of the changes made by lawmakers in the 2018 budget.
He said that the supplementary/ amendment budget will solve some critical issues which he hopes “the National Assembly will be able to expeditiously consider.”
Some of the issues raised by the President include the reduction of allocation for the provision of security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country by N3billion at a time when securing the students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern for the government.
According to the President, he signed the bill into law in order not to further slow down the pace of Nigeria’s economic recovery.
On June 20, 2018, President Buhari, signed the 2018 budget but criticised the National Assembly for reducing allocations for some projects and including thousands of projects into the budget without consultation with the Executive.
He said, “The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.
“Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation”.