2023: No Cash to Conduct Elections – INEC

2023: No Cash to Conduct Elections - INEC | Daily Report Nigeria

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has revealed that there it has no money to conduct the 2023 general elections yet.

The alarm raised by the electoral umpire is coming 10 days to the presidential and National Assembly elections.

According to INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, cash for the mobilisation of ad-hoc staff for the polls is yet to be made available to the commission.

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He stressed that the ability of the INEC to conduct the general election may be hampered by the CBN’s new cashless policy.

Speaking in Abuja at the North-Central stakeholders’ roundtable on the 2023 general elections, organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Bello noted that the commission needs cash to enable it to coordinate security and logistics, and that the scarcity of the naira may affect this.

He said that if nothing was done to address the cash crunch caused by the policies, INEC in the FCT and across the country would find it difficult to deploy staff and materials for the election as most of the services required cash to obtain.

He, however, said that apart from the cash challenge, the commission was prepared for the elections as it had taken delivery of 80 per cent of materials for the polls and trained staff ahead of the February 25 and March 11 elections.

He also added that the commission was in discussions with the CBN to see how the problem could be addressed.

He said;

Before election day, we are going to deploy the service providers. On the night of Friday (the day before the election) in the FCT, we have more than 12, 000 ad-hoc staff that we are going to give cash to.

“None of them will receive a cheque or accept a transfer. I am talking about FCT (12,000), which will require about N5,000 (each) cash on Friday night. Also, those who are going to transport our men, materials and security to the polling units will need cash to do that.

“Also, you will not take a security person to a polling unit from morning till evening without giving him money to eat and I don’t think you expect him to go to the POS to withdraw the N1,000 you are going to give him.

“This policy does not affect only INEC FCT in particular. It is going to affect the whole commission nationwide. So, the chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu met with the CBN governor, they also consulted and briefed the National Council of States and the Presidency.

“This is an issue that is being tackled at the highest level because it affects the whole election generally. For now, we are going to wait for the outcome of the negotiations and discussions that are ongoing. So that we will know exactly what is going on.”

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of the CTA, Faith Nwadishi, said the centre, which is an accredited election observation group, will deploy 2000 observers across the country to cover the 774 local government areas during the 2023 general elections.

Daily Report Nigeria recalls that Nigerians have been battling with the scarcity of naira notes following the redesign of N200, N500 and N1000 notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria.


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