OrderPaperToday – House of Representatives Member, Chukwuemeka Ujam (PDP, Enugu) has explained that the federal chambers is yet to pass the budget for 2019 elections due to “ambiguities” contained in the submission.

The lawmaker indicated that Buhari was not clear in his letter requesting budgetary approval for the electoral management body, hence the delay in its passage.

Recall that on the 17th of July, 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari sent a letter to the National Assembly requesting the approval of N254 billion for the budgets of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  and security agencies for the 2019 general elections.

The consideration of the budget was however shelved as a result of the sudden recess of the lawmakers.

After several pleas from the presidency for the lawmakers to reconvene to consider the budget, the committees on INEC in both chambers decided to meet but no resolution has been made from several meetings.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with OrderPaperNG over the weekend, Mr. Ujam said “in the letter sent by President Muhammadu Buhari, there is a lot of ambiguity which is the cause of the delay.

“We are not sure what the President is asking for. He wasn’t clear what he was asking for.”

He also reacted to the statement made by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, that the presidency could cause the funds requested to be spent without the approval of the National Assembly by activating the doctrine of necessity.

Mr. Ujam said: “In the first instance, it is illegal. The presidency cannot override what is still been considered by the national assembly. We have not said we are not passing it.

“You are aware that at the committee stage, we are still looking at the proposal sent to us. We have not seen a deadlock so it doesn’t warrant the President having to override.

“We are the lawmakers; you cannot override us. We are not at that stage. I don’t believe we are at that stage. We are still considering. The national assembly has not refused to consider. We [committee members] cut short our break to deliberate on the matter.”


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