By Sola Omoniyi, Lagos
The Independent National Electoral Commission will get N18bn for the conduct of the Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi governorship elections.
The polls are billed for November 11, 2023, and according to the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Bagudu, the electoral umpire will get the fund out of the N2.1 trillion 2023 supplementary budget.
Bagudu spoke on Monday at the State House in Abuja following the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which was held on the same day.
“Equally, N18 billion was provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission to support them in the conduct of the Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo elections,” he noted.
According to him, the approval of the supplementary budget was to address urgent issues.
He said FEC “approved the sum of N2,176,791,286,033 as supplementary budget and this supplementary budget is to fund urgent issues including N605 billion for national defence and security.
“This is to sustain the gains made in security and to accelerate and these are funds that are needed by the security agencies before the year runs out.
“Equally the sum of N210 billion is provided for the payment of wage Awards. In negotiation with the Nigeria Labour Congress,” Bagudu added.
“The Federal Government agreed to pay N35,000 each to about 1.5 million employees of the Federal Government for September, October, November, and December 2023.
“And that amounts to about N210 billion which has been approved and also N400 billion as Cash Transfer payments.
“You may recall that the Federal Government secured a $800m loan from the World Bank to pay cash transfers of N25,000 to 15 million households. The $800 million is for two months: October and November. The President graciously approved that an additional month should be funded by the federal government and that is what this N100 billion is for.”