The National Assembly Joint Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has raised concern about the additional budgetary spending of over N503 million by the coml without applying for virement from the National Assembly.
The discovery was made during the 2019/2020 budget defence session by the commission before the committee.
Ibrahim Babangida from Katsina raised the issue when he asked the INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mohmud to explain why the commission unilaterally chose which of the budgetary item to effect extra budgetary spending.
He said that the action of the commission was in contravention of the 1999 Constitution that stipulates that funds should not be expended outside what has been appropriated by the National Assembly.
Fred Agbedi, representing Bayelsa, also asked the INEC chairman to tell the committee the extant laws the commission relied on to spend money beyond appropriation.
He said that in spite of the emergency necessitating the commission to spend fund beyond appropriation, such extra budgetary spending should be done with request for virement and approval by the National Assembly.
Some of the areas where such extra budgetary expenditure was observed by the committee are: security services in which N150 million was appropriated but the sum of N194.8 million was spent by the commission.
Also, N100 million was budgeted for office rent by National Assembly for the commission but the commission spent N232.1 million, just as it spent N440.8 million for general services, whereas the National Assembly budgeted N342,000,000, among other such extra budget spending.
In his defence, the INEC chairman said that the spending was based on emergency situations and in line with the independence of the commission to carry out its responsibilities.
Speaking on the personnel of the commission, the INEC chairman said that the commission had yet to enroll its staff on the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System IPPIS.