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Why 2019 elections will be Nigeria’s most expensive – INEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Mahmud Yakubu said the 2019 general elections will be the most expensive in Nigeria’s history.

Prof Yakubu said yesterday during a budget defence session for the 2019 elections funds with members of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters that the commission needs N189 billion for the conduct of the elections.

He said the amount is N69 billion higher than the entire expenditure for the 2015 elections, which cost N120bn, representing an increase of about 58 per cent.

Daily Trust had on August 3 exclusively reported that the 2019 general elections were set to be Nigeria’s most expensive.

The INEC chairman said the increase was necessitated by a number of factors, including additional political parties, increased number of registered voters, among others.

“From today we have exactly 184 days to the opening of polling units on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

“I wish to draw the attention of this committee to a very important thing. Compared to N120bn that the 2015 elections cost, we’re now proposing N189.2bn.

“For 2015, we had 70 million voters. But now we have 82m registered voters. This will increase because of the additional period for registration that we added. So, there is addition of about 17.1 per cent compared to 2015.

“Second, the number of political parties then was 40, but we now have 91. The size of the ballot papers would increase and the quality and colour won’t be the same. That means additional cost.

“As part of the cost, we have to monitor political parties’ congresses, primaries and conventions, which also mean additional funding.

“Processing nominations from political parties is another thing. We have to process about 70,889 nominations for the elections if all parties nominate candidates.

“This time around, the logistics is higher because pump price of petrol is higher now. Some of the components are in US Dollars, so it would have an impact going by the current exchange rate compared to the 2015 elections.

“The FCT area councils’ elections would be coming at about the same time with the general elections, so that means additional cost because we need more hands for the elections and ballot papers among others,” the INEC chairman said.

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About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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