The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed N305bn for the conduct of the 2023 general elections as well as off-circle elections scheduled for 2022. The electoral body also suspended indefinitely the Ekiti East by-election.
INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Appropriations at the National Assembly.
The committee had invited the INEC chairman to brief it on projected expenditure for elections for the proposal to be captured in the 2022 budget.
He said the 2022 Appropriation bill had made provision for the sum of N140bn of which N40bn is the usual budget of the commission while N100bn is for the 2023 general elections.
He, however, said the N100bn earmarked in the Appropriation bill was grossly inadequate, hence the need for an additional N205bn.
Justifying the request, the INEC boss said the commission has eight by-elections pending — three federal constituencies and five state constituencies — as well as Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
He also disclosed that there are some activities that must be concluded before the elections.
“What we have done is to look at the activities that we have to conduct before the general elections. There are activities that must be concluded. For instance, if you are going to replace some of the critical facilities like ballot boxes, voting cubicles, these things must be done before the election.
“Party primaries must be conducted and concluded before the election and names of candidates submitted, registration of voters and printing of the permanent voters’ card will have to be concluded before the election. Some of the critical election technology for the 2023 general elections must be concluded and procured before the election.
“There are activities that we have to undertake during the election, for instance, engagement of the transporters for electoral logistics, we can’t engage them in advance, it has to be close to the election. Payment of ad hoc staff, we can’t engage ad hoc staff and pay them long before the election, it has to be during the election,” he said.
N189bn spent on 2019 polls
Daily Trust recalled that the electoral body spent $6.24 or N2,249 for every vote cast in the 2019 general elections.
This is contained in the 384-page ‘Report of the 2019 General Election’ formally released by the chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in November 2020.
According to the report, the amount and the figures were well within acceptable global standards.
The National Assembly had in 2018 approved INEC’s request to spend N189b for the 2019 poll.
Senate to pass 2022 budget today
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Appropriations has said the 2022 budget would be presented and considered on Tuesday.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) disclosed this while briefing newsmen after a meeting with the INEC chairman.
“The presentation and consideration (of 2022 budget) will be Tuesday. We have been waiting for them (INEC) and they have given the detailed information of what they need.
“We are proceeding to put together our report for onward submission to the plenary tomorrow (Tuesday).
“We are presenting it tomorrow and it is going to be considered tomorrow as well by the Grace of God,” he said.