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A presidential aide, Sen. Ita Enang has expressed concern over the National Assembly’s silence on President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for consideration of security agencies’ budgets ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), while addressing the National Assembly Joint Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Abuja on Friday, said the focus had been on INEC Budget.
He sought to know why the 2019 election budgets for the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security Services (DSS), Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) and National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as National Security Adviser (NSA) were not being considered.
“My concern is that much is being said about the INEC budget. Mr President also submitted budget for the office of the NSA, DSS, Immigration, Police and NSCDC.
“These are budgets relating to the conduct of the 2019 elections and all I have heard and noticed emphasised is the budget of INEC.
“So, I just want to raise the question whether the other budgets have no problem and would be passed with the budget of INEC or whether it will be considered later by your committee or another committee.”
Enang said that there would be challenges in the successful conduct of the elections, if the budgets of the security agencies were not considered.
“If we pass INEC budget now and do not pass the other related budgets, we will still have problem.
“I plead that as this is considered, we should be able to consider the other budgets.
Responding, the Chairman, Senate Committee Chairman on INEC, Mr Suleiman Nazif, said the committee was only concerned with INEC budget.
“This committee is essentially involved with INEC.
“The budgets of the other agencies will be handled by another committee. Ours is INEC.”