By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of next year’s general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has budgeted a total sum of N355 billion for the polls in the 2023 fiscal year budget.
Recall that the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had in December, 2021 told the National Assembly that it would require N305 billion as projected expenditure for the 2023 elections.
Yakubu had disclosed this when he appeared before the Senator Barau Jibrin, APC, Kano North led Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Consequently, N305 billion was approved for the conduct of the 2023 general elections by the National Assembly.
But defending the 2023 Budget estimates yesterday before the Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South led Senate Committee on INEC, the INEC boss said that the Electoral body has budgeted another N50 billion for its annual budget in 2023, an increment of N10 billion compared to 2022 budget which was N40 billion as approved by the National Assembly.
In the 2023 budgeted submitted to the Senate Committee on INEC for consideration, N2.6 billion was earnmarked for off season election like Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa Governorship elections .
The elections for the three states will hold on November 11, 2023.
According to INEC, the N2.6 billion would be used for the provision for elections , referenda and recalls expenses such as : Operation dept cost covering , printing of ballot papers, result sheets , printing of forms and Envelopes ,arterials and supplies , logistics expenses , honorarium for officials , supervision, RAC preparation, security /intervention support etc
“Election ICT system support, printing of voters’ register for off season and bye elections , F$A Election fund management logistic.”
According to INEC, in the 2023 Budget of the agency, N50 million will be spent to buy firefighting equipment, Motor Vehicles – N150 million, N250 million to repeat offices and residential building.