**INEC Seeks N305billion for 2023 elections 

The National Assembly will consider the 2021 budget and pass it on Tuesday, chairman senate committee on Appropriation Senator Jibrin Barau has indicated.

He also assured Nigerians that required appropriation would be made for the Independent National Electoral Commission in the 2022 budget in the general interest of Nigerians.

He spoke after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday presented N305b before the National Assembly as projected expenditure for the 2023 general elections.

According to Barau, “The report of this committee on 2022 budget proposals, will be laid in plenary at both Chambers on Tuesday, considered and passed”

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu made the presentation before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Monday in Abuja.

The Committee had in view of the 2023 general elections, invited the INEC Chairman to bring before it, projected expenditure for the election for the purpose of capturing it in the 2022 budget billed for passage by both chambers of the National Assembly Tuesday (Today).

According to the INEC Chairman, the N305billion is different from N40biilion yearly budget of the commission.

He said though N100billion had been given the Commission as the first trache out of the total projected expenditure he would not be enough for adequate preparation

“The commission made a submission through the executive being part of the executive body . We made a submission for N305b 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,  the sum of of N140b was made available to INEC as a one line item in the budget and as usual we broke it down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both  the House and the senate.

“The N140b was broken into two, we take it that N40b is our regular budget as an agency of Government and N100b was the first tranche of the 2022 budget and we have gone ahead to make provisions accordingly.

“For the N40b annual budget including in that are also elections that we are supposed to conduct particularly off season elections. It may interest the committee to know that we have 8 bye-election pending; three Federal constituencies and five State constituencies. Infact the last vacancy occured only last Wednesday following the death of a member represent Jiwa west in Kaduna State”, he said .

In making case for more releases from the N205billion balance, the INEC Chairman highlighted to the lawmakers activities that must be carried out ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“What we have done is to look at the activities that we have to conduct before the general election. 

“There are activities that must be concluded. For instance if you are going to replace some of the critical facilities like ballot boxes, voting cubicles, these things must be done before the election. 

“Party primaries must be conducted and concluded before the election and names of candidates submitted, registration of voter’s would have to be concluded before the election. Printing of the permanent voter’s card would have to be concluded before the election and then some of the critical election technology for the 2023 general election must be concluded and procured before the election”, he explained .

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