Yesterday, INEC announced that it had received N100 billion out of the N305 billion it proposed for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
The commission said President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill will not hinder its activities as an electoral umpire. It also said it “will never reward bad behavior by conducting a by-election in Ekiti East State Constituency before the June 2023 governorship election in the state.
INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu defended the agency’s proposed N305 billion budget for the general elections before the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin, assured that the 2022 federal Appropriation Bill will be passed today.
Yakubu attributed his inability to defend the budget proposal last week to an official engagement outside the country.
He said: “We thank the committee and by extension, the Senate, for all the proactive measures taken, including some of the provisions in the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, particularly Section 3, which you have strengthened to grant better financial autonomy for the commission.
“I also thank you for the provision in the bill for ensuring that funds are released to the commission, at least, one year to the elections.
“We made a submission for the sum of N305billion for the 2023 general elections.
“We made the submission on the basis of the N100billion as one line item, N40billion regular budget, and the 2022 Appropriation Bill, and then, there is the outstanding N205billion.
“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 and 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 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 elections must be concluded and procured before the election.