The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has sought the approval of the Nigerian Senate to spend N5.2 billion from the INEC Special intervention fund, which has been accruing since 2010, to make up for the shortfall in the 2020 budget.
This request was made today by its Chairperson, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during the Commission’s 2021 Budget Defense session on Wednesday, before the Senate Committee on INEC.
Prof. Yakubu explained that the year 2020 has been really challenging for the commission, owing to disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the Commission’s activities, leading to the downward review of its budget and key exercises, especially the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.
What they are saying
Speaking on the intervention fund, the INEC boss said:
“There is tremendous pressure on our fund. The fund is N10 billion. We have not withdrawn from the fund since 2010, we have been saving for the rainy day. We believe the rainy day has come…
If we are unable to access this fund, we won’t be able to meet up with our commitment for the year.”
Other disclosures by the Commission
The INEC boss disclosed that the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise would commence in the first quarter of 2021, ahead of the 2023 general election.
He emphasized that the exercise is expected to gulp a sum of N1 billion.
During the INEC 2021 Budget Defense session today, Professor Yakubu said that he was in support of diaspora voting and called on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate diaspora and early voting.