This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.

On Tuesday, 17th July 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that the 2019 general elections will cost Nigeria about ₦242.4 billion. Buhari sent a letter to the National Assembly seeking approval of the amount which will be taken from the 2018 and 2019 budgets.


What’s in the letter?

In the letter read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, President Buhari urged the lawmakers to remove projects they had earlier inserted into the budget and replace them with priority projects as contained in the original bill.

He also asked the lawmakers to reallocate ₦164 million in the 2018 budget for election expenses and the remainder to be put in the 2019 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,”

“The aggregate cost of the election is estimated at ₦254, 445, 322,600. However, in line with the prevailing fiscal condition, I’m proposing that the sum of ₦164,104,792,65 be provided for through virement or supplementation of the 2018 budget. I propose that the balance of N78,340,530, 535 mostly related to personnel allowances, fuelling and other costs not required until election proper be provided in their 2019 budget.” - Muhammadu Buhari


Who gets what?

The proposal is summarised below:

INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) - ₦189,207,544,893

NSA (National security adviser) - ₦4,281,500,000

DSS (Department of State Services) - ₦12,213,282,455

NSCDC ( National Security and Civil Defense Corps) - ₦N3,573,524,500

Police - ₦30,541,317,432

NIS (National Immigration Service) - ₦2,628,143,320.


What next?

The National Assembly is yet to approve the budget for the 2019 election. However, considering that the election is about 6 months away, the lawmakers cannot afford to take too long looking through the President’s proposals.


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