By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA— THE House of Representatives’ Committee on Electoral Matters, yesterday, queried Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over the duplication of items provided for in the 2018 budget for the 2019 polls.
The committee chaired by Aisha Dukku (APC-Gombe) queried the rationale behind the huge budget proposal, observed that most of the subheads captured in the N189.2 billion were contained in the N45.5 billion approved budget for INEC.
Total sum of N45.5 billion as proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari was approved by the National Assembly.
Further findings showed that details of the INEC expenditure was given in the 2018 Appropriation Act signed into law by President Buhari.
In her remarks, Dukku reiterated the House resolve to support towards issue of interest that will strengthen the nation’s electoral process and aid INEC in discharging its functions.
Aisha Dukku, chairperson, House Committee on Electoral Matters, gave the assurance during the INEC budget presentation to members of the committee for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
She explained: “It is only by so doing that one can begin to unravel the intricacies of the entire range of issues involved and their inter-connection.
“You will agree with me that for a government that promised change to its people, the foundation of this change ought to be evident in the way we plan our elections and electoral processes. The estimates should represent a true picture of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, FRA.”
The lawmakers expressed concern over INEC’s previous budgets saying they were neither productive or ineffective because of poor planning.
“it is our prayer and hope that the present administration would address the issues with budgeting especially as regards to funding unlike the previous budgets that were not productive in the entire planning of elections
The lawmakers also queried N28.6 billion proposed as honoraria for 2,763,990 ad-hoc staff during the 2019 general elections.
From the total sum of N2.916 billion proposed for RAC preparation for the general elections, the commission proposed for RAC management/activation, N56.600 million for operation kite for 2,000 tents, N123.474 million for unsitpulated number of megaphones, N6.016 billion for unspecified number of sleeping mats and N232.773 million for unspecified number of tactical torchlights, respectively.