The National Assembly Joint Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission is to reconvene on August 27 to conclude work on the 2019 INEC budget submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
He explained that after the committee met with critical stakeholders in Abuja on Friday, the committee members met behind closed doors and agreed to reconvene on the said date to conclude work on the document.
Nazif further explained that after the committee might have concluded its assignment, it would submit its final report for further legislative action by relevant committees of the Senate.
The statement read, “Sequel to the ongoing consideration of the Independent National Electoral Commission 2019 General Election Budget by the joint committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, the general public is hereby informed that work on the budget is in advanced stage and in line with the mandate issued to the joint committee by the leadership of the National Assembly.
“Equally, the joint committee deliberated on all key attributes of the budget while taking into cognisance the imperative urgency for the budget to be ready in time for the 2019 general election hence, necessitating sacrifice and selflessness from our distinguished and honourable members.
“Furthermore, it is imperative to state here explicitly that, after an audacious session with all critical stakeholders, the joint committee dissolved into executive structure and agreed to resume on 27th of August, 2018, (after Sallah) to consider the harmonised version of the budget report diligently.
“More so, the report of the joint committee will be made available for further and appropriate legislative action in earnest.”
The committee is expected to forward its recommendations to the appropriations committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives for further work before a final report is submitted to the committees of the whole for final approval.
The committee had after its meeting on Friday adjourned indefinitely.
Members of the committee had difficulty agreeing on whether to consider INEC’s budget of N189bn or the N143bn portion of which President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the National Assembly requested the lawmakers to vire from the already appropriated 2018 budget.