By PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI—As registration of eligible voters for this year’s general election winds up within the next three days, controversies seem to trail payment of allowances to registration officers trained by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to oversee the exercise in Ebonyi State.
This controversy was occasioned by the delay from INEC and National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in the state to commence prompt payment of allowances to corps members taking part in the exercise in the state.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the crux of the debate revolves around unresolved matters surrounding conflicting names, wrong account numbers and late disbursement of funds to the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, office by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Reacting to some of the issues relating to delay in the payment of registration officers in the state, the State Director of NYSC, Mrs. Clara Anekwe, noted that her office was painstakingly addressing the issue of wrong names, wrong account numbers with deep sense of urgency.
She added that it was not advisable for NYSC in the state to handle issues concerning money with a wave of the hand.
She disclosed that when NYSC initially paid money into the account of corps members, based on the “un-edited” list of 3568 persons sent by INEC, over 80 per cent of the money bounced back, thereby forcing them to instruct their local government inspectors to visit the registration centres to get the accurate names and account numbers of those participating in the exercise.
According to Anekwe, “the training started on the 7th of January and before the end of January, INEC is supposed to have paid them.
“When the list came, it was bombarded with a lot of problem which we are currently sorting out. There were other people in the list, maybe their own staff.
“They are not corps members. Some of the names do not match with what we have here. For instance, if you are Olusegun, and we see Segun on the list, it is a problem to us. So that was some of the difficulties. And this is money matter; you don’t just pick any name and pay. Some were paid, while some of the money came back.”
In his views, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Ebonyi State , Mr. Peter Nwoko, stated that the commission had released money to NYSC to enable them pay corps members participating in the exercise.
He noted that they were working in consonance with NYSC in the state to ensure that the exercise did not witness any hitch, especially in the area of finance.
He said the new template for quicker and easier payment of corps members put forward by NYSC was acceptable to the commission.