The Senate Wednesday cut N25.5billion from the N714.668billion appropriated for the Power sector in the 2018 budget. The cut is to form part of funds vired for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
Similarly, the Education sector also had N10.238 billion yanked from its N651.226billion appropriated for the Education ministry in the 2018 budget.
The budget cuts are meant to fill gaps in the N242.2 billion election expenses budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security and para military agencies.
The budget cut also affected 28 other Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs), even as another N121.2 billion was cut from existing Service Wide Votes.
The Senate took the decision at plenary on Wednesday following recommendations to that effect by its standing Committee on Appropriation.
The report, as presented by the chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), stated that the N242bn earmarked for the elections was vired from Service Wide Votes (Special Intervention Programme).
The Goje report observed that there was need to source the part of funds from the budgets of the MDAs, to avoid large scale depletion of the Service Wide Votes.
Consequently, the cut from the Service Wide Votes was reduced to N121 billion, while the remaining N121 billion was cut from the budgets of 30 MDAs
Besides the Power and Education Ministries, other MDAs affected are Fede ral Ministry of Water Resources with N12.954bn cut from its N155.149bn 2018 budget and Federal Ministry of Agriculture where N11billion was cut from its N203bn 2018 budget.
Others affected by the cut are Ministry of Budget and National Planning N8.845bn, Ministry of Defence N2.636bn, Foreign Affairs N1.737bn and Federal Ministry of Health N8.059bn.
Also affected are Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation N6.734bn, Office of the National Security Adviser N1.120bn, Ministry of Labour and Employment N2.727bn, Information and Culture N1.884bn, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs N1.199bn, Science and Technology N7.466bn , Industry, Trade and Investment N7.085bn etc .
The senate committee report however retained the spread of the N242bn votes for the conduct of the 2019 general elections for the INEC, security and paramilitary agencies.
Breakdowns of the allocations to the agencies are INEC-N189bn, Police -N27.3bn, and Office of the National Security Adviser – N9.481bn.
Others are the Department of State Services (DSS) – N10.213bn; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) -N3.573bn; and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) -N2.628bn.