The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that the N100 billion naira allocated to the commission in the 2022 budget is grossly inadequate for the conduct of the 2023 General Elections. ayokinews.com reports
This was made known by the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC to defend the estimates of the commission in the 2022 budget.
Speaking before the Senate committee, Prof. Mahmood, noted that while N189 billion was appropriated for the 2019 General Elections, that of the 2023 Election can’t be N100 billion only, as it wasn’t enough for the commission to carry out its duty in the forthcoming Nigeria General Elections.
According to him, the N100 billion was the first tranche of funds for the 2023 general elections while the N40 billion was the electoral commission’s annual budgetary allocation.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said: “We are already in touch with the Federal Ministry of Finance on the additional requirements for the 2023 general elections.
“Either we come to the National Assembly to defend the budget before the committee or we would do what we did in 2019 when the executive just submitted the proposal to the National Assembly and we came to defend it.
“We would need more money because we’ve expanded our polling units and we are introducing new technology for elections among many other new innovations. The number of registered voters will increase beyond the 84 million for the 2019 general elections.”
Prof. Mahmood, while giving a breakdown of the proposed expenditure for the upcoming elections, noted that the commission has earmarked N7.3bn for the procurement of non sensitive materials and logistics.
“We also budgeted N7bn for the conduct of Ekiti and Osun governorship election including the possibility of runoffs.
“We made a provision of N2.6bn for Ekiti State with a population of over one million registered voters and N4.4bn for Osun with 30 local government areas.
“We are earmarking N4.2bn for the continuous registration exercise in 2,700 centers and N619m for monitoring of party congresses and campaign activities.
“I am not sure it would be adequate. We are monitoring party congresses and primaries right from the ward levels by direct means. We have 8,809 wards and 18 political parties. We have types of elections. Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives, and States constituency primaries. If they would be done by direct means, we have to make preparations for it.
“We have 993 state constituencies. So, if parties are going to nominate their candidates we are going to monitor in all the locations — 109 senatorial districts, 360 House of Representatives, and 28 governorship elections because eight are being conducted off-season. We will monitor party primaries for the nomination of candidates in over 1, 400 constituencies so the cost would be enormous.
“We have earmarked N2bn for litigation and prosecution. This has become a real burden on the commission. In the last 27 elections, we have conducted, none has been successfully litigated in court including Edo and Ondo,” Yakubu said.