By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu on Friday said next year’s governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states will gulp N7 billion.
Specifically, the INEC Boss revealed that the commission would expend N2.6 billion and N4.6 billion on Ekiti and Osun respectively.
According to the Electoral Management Body (IMB) chairman, the budget for the two states was hinged on the number of local government councils in each state.
He noted that Ekiti state has 16 councils, while Osun state has 30 councils, adding that the election for the two states would hold in June and July 2022 respectively.
Yakubu made the disclosure at the budget defence of the joint committees of the House of Representatives and the senate on INEC in Abuja.
Cumulatively, the INEC chairman presented N120 billion as 2022 budget proposals, explaining that the commission’s regular budget was N40 billion, while N100 billion was the first tranche fund for the 2023 general election, adding that the amount was however grossly inadequate.
“The N100 billion is the first tranche, because as you are all aware in 2019 election, N189 billion was appropriated, so certainly, in 2023 it cannot be N100 billion and I hope the executive will avail us more funds.
“We have expanded polling units, the number of voters will increase, we have introduced new technology, the cost will certainly rise” he said.
He added that election technology accounted for 50 percent of the 2023 budget, stressing that the commission would monitor election in 1400 constituencies in the country.
A breakdown of the regular budget of INEC in 2022, according to him include, Personnel ( N23 billion), capital ( N290 million), Overhead ( N2.3 billion), voter registration (N30 million), Electoral Expenditure ( N1 billion).
Continuing, he said, N3 billion has been budgeted for the printing of Permanent voters card, saying the country’s voting population stand at 84 million more than 14 countries combined together in West Africa.
Yakubu said “In the past the entire money was given to us close to Election which put pressure on INEC.
“We are happy, we have the money now, we will start early and ease the pressure, hence we can priortise what we need quickly now” he added.
Meanwhile, the committee chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya on behalf of the joint committees put the presentation of 2022 proposals of INEC to voice vote and it was adopted.