2019 Election :INEC Raises Alarm Over Underfunding

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is worried over funding for the 2019 general elections.

This is as a result of the non-consideration and approval of the 2019 election fund requests sent to the National Assembly before the decision of the Senate to adjourn abruptly until September, 2018 for resumption of plenary.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter titled ‘Request for virement and supplementary 2018 budget,’ sent to the National Assembly said, Nigeria would need N254 billion to prosecute the 2019 general election.

The money, he said, would be drawn from the 2018 and 2019 budgets.

The President said the Federal Government needed the sum of N242 billion to fund six agencies in the 2019 general election.

Of the total sum, N164 billion would be drawn from the 2018 supplementary budget while N78 billion would form part of the 2019 budget of these agencies.

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said this at the bi-annual retreat of State House Press Corps (SHPC), at Jubilee Chalets, Epe, Lagos State.

Represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Lagos, Samuel Olumekan, Yakubu spoke on the topic: ‘Covering Campaigns’, said the commission’s target is to make the 2019 general elections the best ever, said Nigeria must be supported to succeed in entrenching best democratic practices comparable to others in the world.

The INEC boss said the Commission was facing funding challenge ahead of the 2019 elections but assured that the Commission would have to seek other sources of funding to ensure that its plans does not grind to a halt

“As you know, our procurement process is very cumbersome and to make a procurement, it may take up to four months and this may affect what we are doing at INEC.

“But we may be forced to look at other sources of funding so that our preparation for the 2019 election is not affected.”
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