National Assembly to reconvene next week, may approve N228.8b for 2019 polls

Deputy Speaker, Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun

Barring last minutes hitches, the National Assembly will reconvene next week to consider President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for N228.8 billion from the N9.12 trillion 2018 budget to fund the 2019 general elections.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun, dropped the hint while briefing journalists after a closed-door meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House.

Lasun, who attended a meeting between the National Assembly leadership and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu on Wednesday, disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to interrupt the lawmakers’ two-month recess on Tuesday or Wednesday to consider the President’s request.

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He said the APC caucus was behind President Buhari’s re-election bid, adding that the APC-led National Assembly still reserved the right to determine the outcome of any issue it was comfortable with, like the President’s request for funds.

While condemning the siege to the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), he applauded the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for sacking former Director General of the security outfit, Lawal Daura.

Speaking, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, expressed concern over the politicisation of the siege to the National Assembly complex by his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fellow lawmakers.

Gbajabiamila, who urged a thorough investigation of the issue, distanced the APC and President Buhari from the saga.

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If approved, the virement titled: Request For Virement And Supplementary 2018 Budget, will cut deep into the controversial constituency projects funding for the year.

The President said the aggregate estimates of the 2019 elections amounted to N242. 4 billion

Of the amount, INEC is expected to receive N189 billion, while the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) will get N4.2 billion.

The DSS will receive N12.2 billion, while the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will get N3.573 billion.

Also, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is expected to receive N30.541 billion, while the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) will receive N2.628 billion.

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