2023: INEC to spend N305bn, use 1.4m adhoc staff

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to spend a total of N305 billion and use about 1.4 million adhoc staff to prosecute the 2023 elections.

This was disclosed by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman in a press briefing with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) in Lagos, on Friday

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave insights into why elections are expensive in Nigeria, stating that 60% of the cost of elections in the country is spent on logistics and personnel allowances. 

He added that ballot papers are printed in currency quality and entrusted with the Central Bank of Nigeria, for the “lack of trust in the system”. 

He noted that most of the costs were down to technology, logistics and securing ballot papers, which is an expensive process to operate. 

Prof. Yakubu said, “In France, the ballot paper is like an A4 sheet of paper because it is unthinkable that anybody in France will snatch the ballot paper. 

“But here in Nigeria, we print ballots papers in currency quality and we entrust them to the Central Bank of Nigeria. 

“The ballot papers will now be moved with all the protocols and security according to the movement of the national currency, just to protect the process. 

“This is not going to be done cheaply. So, we pay for lack of trust in the system.”  

He also revealed that Nigeria’s elections were not the most expensive in Africa, highlighting the entire cost spread per head of the voting population. Which is projected to be about 95 million. 

“The cost in Nigeria, I think, is nine dollars per head (N4,500) as against what happens in other countries. Ours is not even the most expensive. 

“The cost of elections in Nigeria in 2023 is N305 billion of the national budget of over N17 trillion. 

“The cost of elections is just 1.8 per cent, not even up to two per cent of the national budget. 

“If we remove the technology cost, 60 per cent of the cost of elections in Nigeria is spent on logistics and personnel allowances,” he stated. 

On electronic voting, Yakubu said that the country was getting closer to achieving it, noting that it involved several processes and had started cleaning up of voters register, stressing that credible elections start with a credible register of voters. 

 The Commission had said the N305 billion is different from the N40 billion yearly budget request of the electoral body, citing that N100 billion had already been disbursed of the total projected expenditure, and stating, however, that it would not be enough to adequately prepare for the 2023 general elections. 

Yakubu assured that the 2023 elections would be free, fair, credible and verifiable, adding that voter turnout is expected to improve remarkable as the cases of the Osun and Ekiti elections depicted.