Monday, December 29, 2014

Nigeria: Electoral body's budget falls short of N31 Billion

The federal government's 2015 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly last week by the finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has allocated the sum of N62 billion to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the election year.

Although the amount allocated to the electoral body for the 2015 fiscal year represented N17 billion increase from the last year's N45 billion envelope budget allocation, next year's figure has fell short of what the commission demanded for conduct of hitch-free polls.

INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega had at a stakeholders session organised by the Senate Committee on INEC last December, said the commission would need a whopping N93 billion to organise elections devoid of hitches and irregularities in 2015.

He told the senators that Nigeria had spent about $8 per voter in the 2011 elections, adding that fell below that of Ghana's $10-12 per voter. He stressed the commission's desire to bring down the amount to $7.9 per each voter during the 2015 election.

"We project that for the 2015 elections, this would come further down by almost $1-from $8.8 in 2011 to $7.9, representing almost a 10 percent drop. This compares favourably with some other African countries. However, we are anxious about getting all our funding requirements being met well in advance of the 2015 general elections."

But a copy of the commission's budget estimate for the election year, obtained by Daily Trust, revealed the federal government allocated N62 billion to the commission, which would largely be used for the execution of the elections.

The N62 billion, based on the budget estimate, is representing both the recurrent and capital expenditures of the commission for the year.

-Daily Trust

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