Nigeria: We Are Working On Cost of 2023 Elections – INEC

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5 Min Read

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is still working on the financial requirements for 2023 general elections.

The federal government had approved N234.5 billion for the conduct of 2019 general elections and there are strong indications that 2023 elections would cost more.

The commission has also stated that a comprehensive list of the new polling units would be published next week.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, told THISDAY yesterday that it was too early to give an exact figure of the cost of the 2023 election.

He said the cost would depend on a number of variables, including the ongoing Electoral Act amendment.

He said: “It depends on a number of variables. It may be higher, if the law is amended and the commission decides to deploy Electronic Voting Machines.

“The commission is auditing its sensitive and non-sensitive materials in all the states of the federation and the headquarters. Thereafter, the commission will determine the shortfalls and make the necessary projections.

Definitely, some of the materials needed will be procured ahead of time. We are working on all fronts but it is too early to determine and have a holistic picture of our financial requirements for 2023.”

On the losses incurred from attacks by gunmen, he said the commission could not take inventory of the damage due to the security situation in the affected areas.

“It’s difficult to put a figure to what the commission lost or has lost in the attacks. Some of the burnt facilities are still under security cordon and our staff cannot access some of them. Some of them involve estimating the present cost of the buildings, sensitive and non-sensitive materials. It involves estimating the cost of furniture and other burnt materials. Our Resident Electoral Commissioners are still compiling and making attempts to reach some of the facilities.

“You must recognise that there are security challenges in the affected areas and the safety of our staff is paramount.”

INEC also said a comprehensive list of the new polling units would be published next week.

It has also unveiled new fire-fighting machines to help protect the offices of the commission against arson.

The Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahood Yakubu, said yesterday in Abuja at the deployment of details of the locations of the registration centres and the procedure for the commencement of online registration would also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week.

Speaking on the deployment of the fire engine to the commission, Yakubu said as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), the Federal Fire Service and other security agencies have been concerned about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.

He added: “This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalism.

“It will be recalled that concerned by these incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week at which the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission to address this challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.

“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks. At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.”

He added that the inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the Federal Fire Service whose personnel have been deployed permanently to the commission, and would continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other fire-fighting equipment installed by INEC.

Credits: Thisday, Iyobosa Uwugiaren & Chuks Okocha.

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