THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Thursday the N1 billion earmarked for the Commission to conduct the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States is inadequate.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this at the Commission’s 2020 budget defence before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Electoral Matters, said if the Commission must conduct the forthcoming elections without hiccups, its budgetary allocation should be reviewed upward.
He also decried the reduction of the INEC budget from N45.5billion to N40billion in the 2020 Appropriation Bill.
He noted that the INEC had consistently been on a budget of N45.5billion in the last two years, saying the reduction by N5.5 billion will constitute a major constraint to the Commission’s operations.
He said the N1billion in question would not be enough to execute the governorship and other elections slated for next year, adding that the funds set aside for the conduct of polls would also be deployed to the Continuous Voter Registration exercise ahead of the governorship polls in the two states.
According to the INEC chief, adequate provisions had been made in the 2019 budget for the governorship elections to take place in Bayelsa and Kogi States on November 16.
He said: “The sum of N2.7billion has been earmarked for the said elections out of which INEC has spent N1.1billion so far. We will be saving about N500million following our decision to combine the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi with other pending supplementary elections in the two states.
“We will also conduct governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States. This is in addition to supplementary elections we are conducting in many states across the country.”
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