The Nigeria senate has approved 234.51 billion naira for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 elections.

INEC budget received approval after Senator Danjuma Goje, chairman of appropriation committee, presented a report for the consideration of senators.

Of the sum approved, 189 billion naira is based on President Muhammadu Buhari’s request while 45 billion naira is statutory transfer.

Senator Goke said that 189 billion naira was vired through recurrent, capital and service wide votes of the 2018 budget.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, had suggested that the approval should be suspended till next week in order to have a full report.

According to him, the interim report presented by Senator Goje did not have the budget for the security agencies.

But, the senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, objected to Senator Ekweremadu’s argument. He argued that:

“We should approve the budget now and approve that of the security agencies next week”.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Barau Jibrin, representing Kano north, said INEC needed the funds urgently.

“It requires urgency. We will wait for the security agencies to bring their budgets”.

The senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki then sought the views of other members of the senate before the money was approved.

The 10-week recess of the national assembly had delayed the approval, sparking fears that the 2019 elections might be postponed.

INEC had demanded 242 billion naira for the 2019 general election.

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