INEC Sets January Date for By-elections

Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) Chairman,  Professor Maurice Iwu, yesterday  said  N2.9 billion will be needed to conduct by-elections into vacant elective offices at both federal and state levels next month.
Iwu, who was at the National Assembly yesterday, to defend the Commission’s budget, said a total of N2.34 billion would be required for legal services and another N1.26 billion to purchase materials for continuous voters’ registration next year.
Iwu,  while defending the Commission’s N12.7 billion allocation in the 2008 Budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, headed by Musa Sarkin Adar, also said  apart from conducting the first batch of the by-election, which were shifted to January to enable Muslims return from pilgrimage to Mecca, the Commission is to embark on delineation of constituencies across the country next year.
He said N166 million will be used to purchase balloting materials, N150 million for non-sensitive materials, N150 million for  distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials and N2.5 billion for honoraria for the by-elections and recall.
Iwu said litigations arising from poll results and computerisation of the legal department will gulp N20  million each, while payment of professional fees and external solicitors will take another N2.3 billion.
He said  delineation of senatorial, state and local constituencies will take  about six months to complete., adding that INEC is embarking on the exercise, because some states have far less constituencies than they should have.
He told the committee that the Commission will give the 50 political parties statutory grants amounting to N600 million, next year and may soon begin to assist Student Union Governments in the tertiary institution to conduct their elections.
Members of the committee commended the Commission for completing 65 out of the 67 projects it embarked upon in 2007 and  urged the Commission to employ at least 2000 staff, as part of its efforts to reduce employment in the country, instead of about 1,500 it earlier proposed.

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One response to “INEC Sets January Date for By-elections

  1. I still see Nigeria as a country that cannot conduct a free and fair election. Some political actors know about this and even the magic to be done to conduct elections in the country. INEC is now warming up for by-elections in the country, but, my country I know too well, the masses are not aware. Rather political parties, political businessmen and political brigands. INEC have not even disciminated information or educate the people on what, when, where, who and how the elections will be. INEC should go to villages, communities, town unions etc and educate them and not imposing leaders on political seats. The federal Government should mobilize them for this. They should creat awareness for the people.

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