FG released N313.48bn for 2023 elections – INEC

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it received N313.48 billion from the Federal Government for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

The Commission disclosed this in its ‘2023 General Election Report’ released on Friday, February 23.

According to INEC, the figure fell short of the N355.298 billion approved for the Commission to conduct the elections.


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Based on key activities in the approved Election Project Plan for the 2023 general election, INEC had proposed a budget of N305 billion for the conduct of the election.

But the Commission later reviewed it to N355.298 billion, blaming it on the inflation rate, consumer price index, and widening differentials in the foreign exchange rate.

“These three factors negatively impacted the procurement of domestic goods and services and the purchase of offshore electoral equipment and material.

“Furthermore, the Commission also faced 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,” INEC stated.

The Commission said it suffered more than 50 attacks on its facilities, vandalised properties, and election material between 2019 and 2022, which compelled it to request a supplementary appropriation of N52,12 from the Presidency.

A figure breakdown revealed that INEC requested N159.77 billion for electoral operations, N117.38 billion for electoral technology, and N20.42 billion for administrative costs.

It is set outside N7.44 billion, representing 2.5 per cent of the election operation, technological and administrative costs for unforeseen electoral expenses.

“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.

2023 budget and fund release breakdown. Source: INEC
2023 budget and fund release breakdown. Source: INEC

The National Assembly approved and appropriated the sum of N303.18 billion for the conduct of the 2023 general election, it noted.

According to INEC, 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 that is deemed adequate for the conduct of election in transitional democracies,” it reported.

The INEC disclosed that a cumulative N293.48 billion was released in tranches between February 2022 and February 2023, and a further N20 billion was released to the Commission in August and September 2023.

It also revealed that N61.82 billion was outstanding as of October 2023.

The report showed that the Commission also received support from development partners for electoral activities.

The support was tailored around training, capacity building, civic and voter education, production of information, education and communication materials, and stakeholder engagement.

It said, “To be clear, the Commission does not receive any direct cash transfer from development partners.




     

     

    “Rather, these partners are required to hold on to their funds and undertake the direct implementation of any activity requested by the commission that are usually directed at meeting urgent and sometimes unanticipated needs or to augment the cost of enhancing electoral integrity.”

    The ICIR reports that the presidential and governorship elections were held on February 25 and March 18, 2023, respectively.

    In a report by Daily Trust, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, described the report as “medicine after death” and deceitful to the Nigerian people.

    Pointing out issues with the INEC report, he said the country must revisit its electoral law to clarify election process.

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