Business & Finance

Senate reviews approval of virement for 2019 elections

The Nigerian Senate has reviewed its earlier approval of the virement/supplementary budget for the INEC and security Agencies for their conduct of the 2019 general election. This decision followed Wednesday's recommendations made to that effect by the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

It therefore approved that the sum of two hundred and forty two billion, two hundred and forty five million, fifty thousand, one hundred (=N=242,245,050,100) naira only, be vired from thirty Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government, as against the earlier decision to source the entire fund from the service wide volt.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Goje while presenting the report, explained that the earlier virement of =N=242bn for the elections budget entirely from service wide votes (Special Intervention Programme) should be rescinded and approve new sources from thirty MDAs as recommended.

According to him: because of the obvious and imminent issues of national social-economic importance, the virement/supplementary request cannot be implemented as earlier approved, he submitted.

A breakdown of the new report shows that the sum of =N=25.5billion from =N=714.668billion appropriated for the power sector in the 2018 budget as parts of monies vired for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The Education sector also suffered from such virements as =N=10.238billion was vired from =N=651.226billion appropriated for the Education ministry in the 2018 budget to make up for the =N=242.2bn now budgeted for conduct of the 2019 general elections.

Apart from the two ministries, 28 other MDAs also had parts of their 2018 budgetary allocations vired in addition to the =N=121.2bn vired from service wide votes to make up for the =N=242bn for the 2019 polls.

The recommended new sources as presented and approved by the Senate are =N=121.2bn to be vired from service wide votes (Special Intervention Programme) and the remaining balance of =N=121bn to be vired from 2018 budgetary votes of affected 30 MDAs.

Some of the MDAs affected are Federal Ministry of Water Resources which has =N=12.954bn vired from its =N=155.149bn 2018 budget, Federal Ministry of Agriculture where =N=11 billion was vired from its =N=203bn 2018 budget .

Others are, Ministry of Budget and National Planning =N=8.845bn, Ministry of Defence =N=2.636bn, Foreign Affairs =N=1.737bn and Federal Ministry of Health =N=8.059bn.

Also affected in the virements are Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation =N=6.734bn, Office of the National Security Adviser =N=1.120bn, Ministry of Labour and Employment =N=2.727bn, Information and Culture =N=1.884bn, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs =N=1.199bn, Science and Technology =N=7.466bn , Industry, Trade and Investment =N=7.085bn etc .

However the committee in the report, retained the spread of the =N=242bn virement votes for conduct of the 2019 general elections across the six affected agencies as earlier approved by both chambers of the National Assembly with =N=189bn for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), =N=27.3bn for the Nigeria Police Force and =N=9.481bn for the office of the National Security Adviser.

The rest are =N=10.213bn for the Department of State Services (DSS), =N=3.573bn for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and =N=2.628bn for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), all totaling =N=242.245, 050, 100bn.

Source: Voice of Nigeria