Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's President.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has transmitted the budget of the 2019 election to the Nigerian Senate.

President Buhari noted that Nigeria will need N254 billion (N254,445,322,600) to prosecute the 2019 general elections, hence requested the lawmaker to grant approval for the sum to be drawn from the 2018 and 2019 budgets.

In the letter entitled, ‘Request for virement and supplementary 2018 budget,’ the President said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies have jointly submitted their expenses for the election, giving the breakdown as N189 billion for the electoral umpire and 52 billion for the police, Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies.

President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki who read the letter on Tuesday, July 17, said the Nigerian President asked lawmakers to re-allocate N164,104,792, 65 in the 2018 budget for the election expenses.

President Buhari said the balance of N78,340,530, 535 – mostly related to personal expenses – should be put in the 2019 budget.

The president also asked the lawmakers to reinstate “certain cuts made to certain critical projects provided in the original executive bill”.

The letter reads in full: “Request for virement and supplementary 2018 budget.

“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.

“INEC and the security agencies have accordingly recently submitted their requests and these have been subjected to the usual budget evaluation. The aggregate cost of the election is estimated at N254, 445, 322,600. However, in line with the prevailing fiscal, I’m proposing that the sum of N164, 104, 792, 65 be provided for through virement or supplementation of the 2018 budget. I propose that the balance of N78, 340, 530, 535 mostly related to personal allowances, fuelling and other costs not required until election proper be provided in their 2019 budget.

“The proposal for the 2019 election is as summarised below:

INEC

2018 supplementary – N143, 512, 529, 445

2019 budget – N45, 695, 015,438

Total: N189, 207, 544, 893

Office of the National Security Adviser

2018 supplementary – N3, 855, 500, 000

2019 budget – 426, 000, 000

Total – 4, 281, 500,000

DSS

2018 supplementary – N2, 903, 638, 000

2019 budget – N9,309,644,455

Total – N12, 213, 282, 455

NSCDC

2018 supplementary – N1, 845, 597, 000

2019 budget – N1, 727, 997, 500

Total – N3, 573, 534, 500

Nigeria Police

2018 supplementary – N11, 457, 417, 432

2019 budget – N19, 083, 900, 000

Total – N30, 541, 317, 432

NIS

2018 supplementary – N530, 110, 078

2019 budget – N2, 098,033, 142

Total – N2, 628, 143, 320

Total amount (for 2019 election)

2018 supplementary – N164, 104, 792, 065

2019 budget – N78, 314, 530, 535

Total – N242, 445, 322, 600

“You will also recall that when I signed the 2018 appropriation act, I indicated the need for reinstatement of certain cuts made to certain critical projects provided in the original executive bill. I’m therefore submitting for your consideration the reinstatement of most of the most critical of such cuts totalling N67, 742, 216, 150 which are summarised in page one. The total amount required to be provided for in the 2018 budget for the 2019 general election and to restore the identified critical projects to the amount earlier proposed is, therefore, N228, 854, 800, 250. Implementing a budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 would be extremely challenging and therefore, I do not consider it expedient to propose a further increase to the size of the 2018 expenditure framework to fund these very important and critical expenditure items.

“Accordingly, I invite the distinguished Senate to consider, in the national interest, relocating some of the funds appropriated for the new projects which were inserted into the 2018 budget proposal totalling N 578, 319, 951, 904 to cover the sum of N228, 854, 800, 205 required as noted above.

“A schedule sitting out a comprehensive list of these inserted projects is attached to this letter for ease of your consideration.

“Further to the above, kindly find attached a supplementary budget and virement proposal for your consideration.

“While hoping that this request will expeditious consideration of the distinguished Senate, please accept, Mr Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration”, the letter added.

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