2023 Polls: INEC Proposes N305bn 

2023 Polls: INEC Proposes N305bn 

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has said that 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 chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
The INEC boss and his team were at the Senate on the invitation of the committee to get the commission’s needs for the general elections included in the 2022 Appropriation bill.
Jibrin said, the presentation and consideration of 2022 budget will be tomorrow as they had been waiting for INEC and they have given the detailed information of what they need expressing hope that it would considered once they are presented.
Earlier during a session with the Senate committee, INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu told the lawmakers that INEC would need three hundred and five billion naira for the conduct of 2023 general elections as well as off-circle elections scheduled for 2022.
Professor Mamood noted that the 2022 Appropriation bill had made provision for the sum of one hundred and forty billion naira out of which forty  billion naira is for regular budget of the commission while the remaining one hundred billion naira is for preparation of the 2023 general elections.
He, however, said the one hundred billion naira earmarked in the Appropriation bill was grossly inadequate, hence the need for additional two hundred and five billion naira.
Justifying the increase, the INEC boss said the commission has eight bye elections pending, including Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
The commission made a submission for three hundred and five billion for the 2023 general elections in  a very comprehensive 22 page document with 260 budget lines through the executive being part of the executive body.
According to the INEC Chairman,  in submitting the executive proposal to the National Assembly,  the sum of of one hundred and forty billion was made available to them as a one line item in the budget which they broke down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both  the House and the senate.
He also disclosed that there are some activities that must be concluded before the elections, such as buying of machines, voter registration, printing of ballot papers and other sensitive materials, provision for logistics,  payment of adhoc staff and cost of litigations.
The INEC  boss also  told the committee that the commission did not make provision for the controversial direct primaries adding that the commission only made provision for all that is in the Electoral Act as approved.
The electoral body also suspended indefinitely, the Ekiti East  bye election after four unsuccessful attempts.
He lamented that in the last attempt , voters were killed on the queue as well as security operatives and electoral officers at polling units .
INEC will never reward bad behavior. The election can only be repeated in June next year during the Gubernatorial election  he stressed.

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