Nigeria’s electoral regulatory body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented a budget of N305 billion to the National Assembly, for the 2023 general elections.
The presentation was done on Monday by Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during the Senate Committee on Appropriations hearing.
INEC was expected to present the electoral budget in its 2022 budget which is set to be passed by lawmakers.
The electoral body 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 for adequate preparation towards 2023 general elections.
“We made a submission for N305 billion for the 2023 general elections in a very comprehensive 22-page document with 260 budget lines.
“In submitting the Executive proposal to the National Assembly, N140 million was made available to INEC as a one-line item in the budget.
“As usual, we broke it down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“The N140 billion was broken into two; we take it that N40 billion is our regular budget as an agency of government and N100 billion is the first tranche of the 2022 budget,” the INEC chief said.
He added that INEC had already made provisions stating that the N40 billion annual budget include expenditures for particularly off-season elections.
INEC said one of the reasons for the increased budget proposal is that activities have to be conducted before the general elections.
“Party primaries must be conducted and concluded before the elections and names of candidates submitted, registration of voters would have to be concluded before the elections.
“Printing of Permanent Voters Cards would have to be concluded before the elections and some of the critical election technology must be concluded and procured before the elections,” Yakubu said.
It would be recalled that NewsBeatng reported that in its 2022 electoral forecasts, SBM Intelligence stated that most of the political blocs had begun to move, in preparation for campaigning and deal-making, especially as in 2022, gubernatorial elections would be held in 2 states—Osun and Ekiti.