National Assembly to meet today to deliberate on the possibility of reconvening

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Apparently yielding to the clamour from the executive arm of government, the leadership of the National Assembly will meet Tuesday to deliberate on the possibility of reconvening to deliberate on the N242 billion budget proposal presented before it in July by President Muhammadu Buhari to finance the 2019 elections.

The meeting billed for 12 noon in Senate Room 301, sources told THISDAY, would be presided over by the Chairman of the National Assembly and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in attendance.

The meeting is also expected to be attended by all the principal officers of both the Senate and the House of Representatives including Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuf; the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who in the last few days is said to be planning to defect to the ruling APC; and Chairmen of INEC Committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The meeting of the National Assembly leadership would be followed by another meeting by 1p.m. between the National Assembly leadership and the management team of INEC led by its Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu.

President Buhari had on July 17 written to the two chambers of the National Assembly, seeking the approval of a budget totalling N242 billion for the purpose of 2019 general election, while also seeking the virement of some projects already inserted into the 2018 budget.

According to the president’s letter, which came into the legislature barely a week to the scheduled annual recess, the National Assembly was being requested to approve the virement of the sum of N164 billion from the 2018 budget.

The president indicated that the total sum of N228 billion should be deducted from the N578 billion projects introduced into the budget by the National Assembly, which the presidency claimed were inserted into the 2018 budget by the National Assembly.