Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had ruled out electronic voting and diaspora voting rights for the 2019. This was communicated yesterday by the commission.
The chairman of INEC shared this with the Senate and said it could be done when the Constitution is amended and necessary logistics put in place.
INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu Was in the senate to discussed the 2017 budget which he narrated has been a burden on the commission with extra spendings.
He said: “For instance, in the last one year, we have conducted 13 unscheduled by-elections caused by deaths of some members of national and state assembly”.
In this year’s expectation the commission is to spend N19.1 billion for elections.
The budget for this year by commission is N45 billion.
“At this point, we cannot put a figure on the budget for the elections (2019) until we complete the process of validating the strategic plan. Therefore, we are likely to approach the executive and the National Assembly for supplementary budget in this 2017.
“The supplementary aspect should incorporate something for the elections and in 2018, we will have it in the main proposals.”
“About N20.9 billion of the commission’s N45 billion budget is proposed for personnel costs, N2.3 billion proposed for capital projects, while N19.1 billion is proposed for elections that would hold in 2017.
“Fortunately, we do not have many elections this year. Apart from Anambra State, where there will be a governorship election, there are no numerous elections”, he said.
He went further to explains the situation on national database.
“That process has not been concluded. INEC today has the largest data base in the country with 70million registered voters. That is a huge figure, much larger than when you talk about the population of many African countries put together”.
Senator Jonathan Gaza Gbewfi commended the Commission’s early preparation for the 2019 polls and observed the need for more engagements with INEC.
“We are the elected representatives of the people. Those in the executive are mostly appointed officers. You have to start talking with the representatives of the people first on whatever plan you have for elections,”