INEC: We Received N313.4bn from FG for 2023 General Election 

Segun James

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it received N313.4 billion from the federal government for the conduct of the 2023 general election.
In its 2023 General Election Report released on Friday, the electoral umpire said that out of the N355 billion approved for the conduct of the elections, only the sum of N313.4 billion was released as of September 2023.
The report noted that based on the key activities in the approved Election Project Plan for the 2023 general election, the commission had proposed a budget of N305 billion for the conduct of the elections.

The breakdown of this amount showed that the commission made a request for N159.7 billion for electoral operations; N117. 3 billion for electoral technology; and N20.4 billion for electoral administrative costs.
It also showed that N7.4 billion representing 2.5 per cent of the election operation, technological, and administrative costs was set aside for unforeseen electoral expenses.

The report stated that in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the commission’s budget proposal for the 2023 general election was submitted to the presidency and duly transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.
“Consequently, the commission appeared before the Senate and the House Committees on INEC as well as the Senate and House Appropriations Committees in a joint session during which the INEC Chairman presented the expenditure layout of the budget and answered all questions and queries from committee members.

“The National Assembly approved and appropriated the sum of N303.1 billion for the conduct of the 2023 general election,” the report explained.
It, however, stated that by January 2023, it was clear that the approved amount would not be enough for the conduct of the elections due to the inflation rate and consumer price index as well as the widening differentials in the foreign exchange rate.
The report added that INEC was also faced with the necessity to rebuild or relocate its operations from its buildings that were destroyed or burnt and replace lost election materials due to arson attacks and fire outbreaks.
The report also noted that INEC suffered more than 50 attacks on its facilities and acts of vandalism on its properties and election material between 2019 and 2022.

These three factors, according to the report, negatively impacted the procurement of domestic goods and services and the purchase of offshore electoral equipment and materials.
“The commission was therefore compelled to request for supplementary appropriation in the sum of N52 billion from the presidency.
“The request was duly considered and approved for appropriation by the National Assembly bringing the total funds approved and appropriated for the conduct of the 2023 general election to N355.2 billion.

“The breakdown of the appropriated amount based on the Average Cost per Registered Voter Index (COVI), for the 93,469,008 registered voters in Nigeria is N3,801 (US$6.72) per voter.
“This is well within the internationally acceptable Average Cost per Registered Voter (ACRV) of $4 to $8 and is deemed adequate for the conduct of elections in transitional democracies.

“In fact, the ACRV for the 2023 general election is less than the actual cost of $9.62 and $7.38 cost per voter for the 2015 and 2019 general election, respectively, and very reasonable in comparison to the cost per voter in other transitional democracies such as Ghana and Kenya,” the report stated.

It added that consequent upon the appropriation of the election budget proposals by the National Assembly, INEC engaged with the Minister and officials of the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning for the release of funds as stipulated in Section 81(2,3&4) of the 1999 Constitution.
“This led to the cumulative release of the sum of N293.4 billion in tranches between February 2022 and February 2023.
“A further amount of N20 billion was released to the Commission in August and September 2023.
“The sum of N61.8 billion is outstanding as of October 2023,” the report said.
The report also stated that the commission also received support from development partners for electoral activities.
The support, according to the commission, was tailored around training, capacity building, civic and voter education, production of information, education and communication materials, and engagement with stakeholders.

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