Over $500 Billion is Required for the 2023 General Election.
NaijaNews reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rejected N100 billion set aside by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning for the 2023 general election on Friday.
Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, Chairman of the Electoral Umpire, stated this while defending INEC’s 2022 budget before the Joint National Assembly Panel on INEC, saying the N100 billion vote was beyond INEC’s N40 billion budget for 2022.
“The N100 billion is the first tranche for the general election in 2023, while the N40 billion is our standard budget for 2022,” he said. For the 2019 general election, N189 billion has been set aside. As a result, it cannot be N100 billion alone in 2023.
“We are already in touch with the Federal Ministry of Finance on the additional requirements for the 2023 general election. Either we come to the National Assembly to defend the budget before the committee or we would do what we did in 2019 when the executive just submitted the proposal to the National Assembly and we came to defend it.
“We would need more money because we’ve expanded our polling units and we are introducing new technology for elections among many other new innovations. The number of registered voters will increase beyond the 84 million for the 2019 general election.
“Some of the things we needed would require four months, some five months while some would require seven months. We will start early preparations now that we have the money early enough…
“We hired 34, 000 vehicles for the 2019 elections so we have plans to also outsource the material distribution in 2023 because we can not afford the cost of buying such a huge number of vehicles and engage the drivers that would drive them.”
Mahmood further disclosed that the Governorship Elections in Osun and Ekiti states will gulp N7 billion.
According to him, N189billion was spent on 2019 General Election and the number of voters have increased beyond 84 million.
He said: “We also budgeted N7bn for the conduct of Ekiti and Osun governorship election including the possibility of runoffs.
“We made a provision of N2.6bn for Ekiti State with a population of over one million registered voters and N4.4bn for Osun with 30 local government areas.
“We are earmarking N4.2bn for the continuous registration exercise in 2,700 centers.”