The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, have given reasons why the National Assembly will not reconvene yet to consider the supplementary budget for the 2019 elections.
Saraki and Dogara gave the explanation in a statement issued in the early hours of Tuesday.
The statement, signed by their media aides, Yusuph Olaniyonu for Saraki and Turaki Hassan for Dogara, came against the backdrop of the failure of the heads of the National Assembly to announce resumption for the consideration of the proposed N242 billion for the elections.
President Muhammadu had submitted the budget to make provisions for the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies, especially the Department of State Services, for the elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had after a meeting with Saraki, Dogara and other leaders of the National Assembly last week, raised expectations that the National Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday (today) when he said the budget may be considered within one week.
In the statement on their behalf by Olaniyonu and Hassan, on Tuesday, Saraki and Dogara said: “The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed that we inform all Senators, Honorable members and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday August 13, 2018.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.
“Until the Committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”