By NBF News

As controversy trails the N72 billion approved by the National Assembly for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the 2011 elections, Speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole on Monday stated that the money is not in anyway outrageous compared to what it is meant to achieve.

Speaking to journalists at the presidential wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Bankole maintained that the approved money is less than one per cent of the annual budget passed by the National Assembly.

The Speaker explained that the money is necessary if the nation is to have credible, free and fair elections next year.

'We just passed a N4.6 trillion naira budget, N72 billion is less than that. And what is one per cent of N4.6 trillion? N46 billion ? Now this gentleman is asking for N1.5 per cent of the budget for us to have credible, free and fair elections. I think he should have it and we should move our nation forward,' he said.

On the timing of the elections and the clamour by various groups calling for the extension of the election, Bankole pointed out that the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega should be allowed to do his job adding that he is the man in charge.

'He is the one in charge, we should let him do his job,' he said.