- Postponed Ekiti election indefinitely
The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ), has proposed a budget of N305 billion to the National Assembly as projected expenditure for the 2023 general elections.
The proposal was made by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu before the Senate Committee on Appropriations in Abuja, which had in view of the 2023 general elections, invited the INEC Chairman to table before it, projected expenditure for the election for the purpose of capturing it in the 2022 budget billed for passage by both chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday.
According to INEC Chairman, the N305 billion is different from N40 biilion yearly budget of the electoral body .
He said though N100 billion had been given the Commission out of the total projected expenses but would not be enough for adequate preparation.
He said: “The commission made a submission through the executive being part of the executive body . We made a submission for N305b for the 2023 general elections in a very comprehensive 22 page document with 260 budget lines.
“In submitting the executive proposal to the National Assembly, the sum of of N140b was made available to INEC as a one line item in the budget and as usual we broke it down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both the House and the senate.
“The N140b was broken into two, we take it that N40b is our regular budget as an agency of Government and N100b was the first tranche of the 2022 budget and we have gone ahead to make provisions accordingly.
“For the N40b annual budget including in that are also elections that we are supposed to conduct particularly off season elections. It may interest the committee to know that we have 8 bye-election pending; three Federal constituencies and five State constituencies. Infact the last vacancy occured only last Wednesday following the death of a member represent Jiwa west in Kaduna State.”
In making case for more releases from the N205billion balance , the INEC Chairman highlighted to the lawmakers activities that must be carried out ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“What we have done is to look at the activities that we have to conduct before the general election.
“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 voter’s would have to be concluded before the election. Printing of the permanent voter’s card would have to be concluded before the election and then some of the critical election technology for the 2023 general election must be concluded and procured before the election,” he explained.
On the controversial Ekiti East byeelection , the INEC boss said it has been suspended indefinitely having tried four times without success.
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.
In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Jibrin Barau, said required appropriation would be made for the electoral body in the 2022 budget in the general interest of Nigerians.
He assured journalists after the session , that report of his committee on 2022 budget proposals , will be laid in plenary at both Chambers on Tuesday, considered and passed.