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INEC denies N6 billion budget to feed Police

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, denied the reports that went viral stating that N6 billion was budgeted for the feeding of Nigerian Policemen for 2019 election.

The 2019 general elections budget of N189.2 billion is subject to approval by the National Assembly and has been pending due to on-going recess of both legislative chambers.

According to a statement by INEC, “There is no budget head for feeding the police in the INEC Election Budget. What we do have is a budget head for feeding all election personnel on election days and it covers all INEC permanent and ad hoc staff, Presiding officers, supervisors, monitors, collation and returning officers and all security personnel on election duty including the police, NSDC, Immigration, Prison and NDLEA officers, etc. numbering in excess of a million people”.

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“The estimated budget for this is more than 25 percent less than what is being bandied around and it covers all elections including bye elections, re runs, run offs and court ordered elections.”

Earlier this month, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu explained that the N189.2 billion budget was broken down into four components.

The first component which is the Election Operational Cost and estimated at N134.4 billion is the source from which we fund sensitive and non-sensitive materials, allowances, logistics, preparation of the registration area centres, voters’ registration including the printing of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), the voter register for the election as well as undertake Voter Education and Publicity.

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The second component is Election Technology Cost and estimated at N27.5 billion. Yakubu said, “It is ICT-related and includes procurement, upgrading and replacement of equipment, stress test and inventory of our systems generally”.

The third component, Yakubu said, is the Election Administrative Cost totalling N22.6 billion would be paid for insurance cover for the Commission’s properties and personnel, including the ad-hoc staff. It would also cover the procurement of stationeries and other items, construction and renovation of the Commission’s offices and the purchase of vehicles and generators.

The fourth component, N4 billion for contingencies which he noted, amounted to only 2.5 percent of the total budget of the election, and was arrived at after putting “the pressures on resources” into consideration.

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The INEC Chairman also attributed the figures in the election budget to the increased number of political parties. He said the process of producing ballot papers for 91 political parties, as well as monitoring their conventions, congresses and primaries would cost more.

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