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24 August 2018

National Assembly ‘Considering Reconvening’ Before Sept 25

The National Assembly is considering reconvening before September 25 to approve the 2019 elections budget presented by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 The leadership of the National Assembly agreed to this after the meetings with INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.

It was also reported that both upper and lower chambers of the house would only sit for a day and continue with their annual recess, which is due to end on the 25th of September.

Although the assembly is yet to fix a day for the meeting, the house committees overseeing INEC would conclude on the figures to be released and present their stand to the appropriation committee.

“There’s no definite date yet, and I don’t think it will be next week‎ because I should be in the know. All I know is that we’ve agreed to reconvene and consider the election budget. What I can’t tell you now is the actual date,” the paper quoted a source as saying.

“What they want to do is to just reconvene and do everything within one day and go back for us to continue with the recess. You know the issue of impeachment is there, so nobody wants to take chances.”

Not sure whether the House would be having a joint meeting to approve the election, budget, the source said, adding: “If we want to have another joint sitting, then each house has to sit separately and agree on that first”.

The approval of INEC budget by the House has generated so much buzz since the National Assembly went on a two-month annual leave, which is to end in September.

So many organisations, including INEC itself, has urged the assembly to reconvene to approve the election budget, stating that it would be late to start preparing for the 2019 elections if it is to wait to September when the house should officially reconvene.

Similarly, the figure to be approved has been a matter of contention, as two figures, N189.2bn presented by INEC and N143.512bn sent by President Muhammadu Buhari, are before the Assembly.

While APC legislatures are demanding the figure presented by the commission is approved, PDP lawmakers are pushing for the approval of N143.512bn presented by the President.

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