Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has assured that the commission would not suffer any difficulty in conducting 2019 general elections due to the delay in the passage of its budget and amendment to the Electoral Act.
Yakubu expressed the hope while fielding questions from newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
He explained that there were no discrepancy between the figure of N189.2bn the commission submitted to the executive and what the National Assembly appropriated for the commission.
He said that INEC had discussed with the Ministry of Finance on the disbursement of fund for the elections and it was confident that the commission was not going to suffer any encumbrances in that respect.
On procurements that required long term, Yakubu said that INEC had initiated the actions, as contracts were already awarded in line with the provision of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, as money would only be paid for work done.
“We have awarded those contracts that we needed to award for procurement we needed to make before the elections.
“Basically, the sensitive materials, ballot boxes, smart card readers, the permanent voter cards, the voting cubicles and components for the enhancement of card readers.
“Our hope is that by the first week of December all these components will be delivered to the commission.
“The election is holding on Feb. 16 and March 2, so, we don’t hope to suffer any difficulties in meeting these requirements in the conduct of the elections.
“Other items of the expenditure will come close to the elections. For instance, payment of the ad hoc staff will be done February next year, not earlier.
“Engagement of transporters for electoral logistics will be done next year not this year.
“So, we should be able to meet these entire commitments base on the appropriation by the NASS and also the cash flow discussion we had with the ministry of finance.
“We don’t expect to suffer any inconvenience in that regard.
“Election is a sovereign responsibility and we must say that the government of Nigeria has responded to proper funding of the 2019 general elections,’’ the chairman said.
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