2019: No discrepancies in INEC’s N189.2b budget ―Yakubu

NationalThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has dismissed suggestions of discrepancies between the 2019 election budget it prepared and the one submitted to the National Assembly by the executive.

Speaking to correspondents during a visit to the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday, he affirmed that it was the N189.2 billion that the commission proposed that was presented to the National Assembly by the executive.

“We also need to make this very important clarification, the commission requested for N189.2 billion, that is what the executive proposed to the National Assembly, so there are no discrepancies in the figures at all,” he said.

The INEC boss said the Commission had made the clarification to the National Assembly and it is now waiting for what the lawmakers will come up with.

He added: “Well, we have made the clarification that the National Assembly asked for and I am happy that the National Assembly and the two committees on INEC expressed satisfaction on the clarification that we made for the matter of appropriation.

“So, we look forward to hearing what the National Assembly will say.”

Yakubu affirmed that the constitution does not contemplate the postponement of the general election and so, it will take place as scheduled in 2019.

According to him, “I have said this over and over again, there are no conditions under which elections should be postponed, under section 26 of the Electoral Act, the date is formed and fixed, February 16, 2019.

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“We issued the timetable way in advance for the very first time in the history of our nation, citizens of Nigeria know when elections will take place one year in advance. It has never happened before.

“Secondly, also for the very first time in the history of our country, that citizens know the budget of the electoral commission, that budget has never been defended before the National Assembly, as citizens know line by line how much the commission proposed l, what the money is going to be spent on, I think I am very happy with this process.”

On voters registration extension, he explained that the exercise was extended in deference to appeals from citizens, saying that as at August 11, over 21. 1 million new voters were registered.

Yakubu further stated: “Well, we’ve started the continuous voters’ registration exercise on 27th April 2017, so we have been as provided for in our constitution registering voters consistently in the last 16 months. in response to appeal by Nigerians, we have created more centres for the registration but finally decided that we should suspend the process as provided for by the law, six months to the elections.

“But again in response to appeal by Nigerians we have now extended to the end of the month. As at Saturday last week the 11th of August, we have registered 12.1 million citizens, this will eventually be added to the 70 million voters that are already registered for the 2019 general elections.

“We have voters register of over 80 million citizens.”

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