The Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James, has debunked the claim by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s 2019 budget was submitted late by the executive.
Saraki’s comment came after he was alleged to have delayed the passage of the budget, stating that the it was rather the executive that received and kept the INEC budget. Stating that such action was occassioned “due to a perceived lack of foresight, display of usual tardiness or an attempt to ensure that due process would not be followed, this request was submitted only a few days before the statutory National Assembly annual recess.”
But denying the statement, Mr. James said that the budget came as a supplimentary budget and would not be appropriate to send it along with the national budget.
He said the national budget is usually sent by the executive and passed by the National Assembly before the supplementary budget would be forwarded to the parliament.
The minister’s aide said, “INEC budget came as a supplementary budget. You don’t send the supplementary budget to the National Assembly when the substantive budget has not been passed. That is why they call it supplementary. So when was the budget passed? When was it assented to? Those are the issues.
“If the budget was passed early, that supplementary budget would have been sent to the National Assembly. The supplementary budget was sent one month, in fact the following month.
“The budget was signed in June and in July the supplementary budget was sent to the National Assembly. So, it’s not that INEC budget came and it was kept. Supplementary budget is sent to the National Assembly after the substantive budget has been passed.”