MEMBERS of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) working as ad-hoc staff for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the coming general elections will be paid a total of N30,500.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC National Chairman, gave this clarification during a briefing of electoral observers, monitors, and reporters at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja on Thursday, ahead of the rescheduled presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday, 23 February 2019.
He explained that INEC has ad-hoc personnel across different categories, namely returning officers, collation officers, supervisory presiding officers, presiding officers (PO), and assistant presiding officers (APOs) 1, 2, and 3. The corps members fall in the last category. INEC had also recruited some undergraduates of federal universities in the PO and APO categories.
Each PO and APO is entitled to the following: A training allowance of N4,500 each – comprising N1000 transport allowance and N500 feeding allowance for the three-day training -, N4000 allowance for deployment to the various polling units, and N9000 honorarium for the election day proper.
This means that each PO or APO will receive a total of N17,500 for the presidential and national assembly election only.
For the governorship, state assembly and FCT Area Councils elections, Yakubu said the POs and APOs will receive a total of N13000 since there will not be a separate training for them for that, so the N4,500 training allowance will be excluded.
Altogether, the corps members will receive a total of N30,500 for their participation in the election duties.
The clarification became necessary following several contradictions as to the actual allowance due to the corps members taking part in the elections as INEC ad-hoc personnel.
The ICIR had reported how some corps members protested the non-payment of their training allowances in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, last Friday.
The youths, numbering about 150, accused the INEC attempting to embezzle the N8,500 training and feeding allowances promised them by the commission which was supposed to have been paid on the eve of the election.
Following the postponement of the election in the early hours of Saturday, February 16, 2019, the youths demanded that the INEC officials should pay them their allowance before they disperse to their various locations.
Speaking further during the briefing on Wednesday, the INEC Chairman regretted that some corps members had to go through a lot of discomfort arising from accommodation and travel arrangements before the initial election date. Many of them had to pass the night in open spaces as there were no adequate preparations for them to stay till the next day.
Yakubu said he has held a meeting with the Director General of the NYSC on ways to overcome such challenges. He said they had agreed that mattresses should be brought from the various NYSC orientation camps across the country for the use of the corps members in their various areas of election duty.
Describing corps members as the most reliable and most patriotic group that has assisted INEC during elections over the years, Yakubu assured that steps have been taken to avert a repetition of the ugly incident that played out last Friday.