The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, has announced that the sum of N18 billion will be allocated to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states.
This significant financial allocation was revealed during a briefing with State House correspondents following a meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo are scheduled to take place on November 11, 2023. Minister Bagudu disclosed that this funding would be drawn from the N2.1 trillion 2023 supplementary budget.
“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 stated.
The approval of the supplementary budget is intended to address pressing issues across various sectors. Minister Bagudu elaborated on the key aspects of the budget, which included a significant allocation of N605 billion for national defense 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,” he emphasized.
Additionally, the budget includes N210 billion allocated for the payment of wage awards, resulting from negotiations with the Nigeria Labour Congress. The Federal Government has committed to paying N35,000 to approximately 1.5 million federal employees for the months of September, October, November, and December 2023.
“The sum of N400 billion has also been designated for Cash Transfer payments,” Minister Bagudu continued. “The Federal Government secured an $800 million loan from the World Bank to facilitate cash transfers of N25,000 to 15 million households. The $800 million is intended to cover two months: October and November. The President has graciously approved an additional month to be funded by the federal government, which is represented in the N100 billion allocation.”
These allocations underscore the government’s commitment to addressing urgent and critical issues, ranging from electoral support to national security and welfare programs, as the nation prepares for important elections and tackles ongoing challenges.