3 December 2012

Nigeria: INEC to Create More Reps Seats Before 2015

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INEC is Nigeria's election commission.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to review Federal constituencies ahead of the 2015 elections, Commission Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega, has said.

The country is operating 360 Federal constituencies and 109 senatorial districts.

Speaking during the 2013 budget defence of the commission before the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters chaired by Rep. Jerry Manwe (PDP, Taraba) in Abuja on Friday, Jega said INEC planned to commence constituency delineation next year and already, N2.5 billion has been budgeted for the exercise.

"The last time delimitation was done in Nigeria was 1996 and the constitution says it must be done every ten years or immediately after a census. So, we believe that it must be done before the 2015 elections. We will do it thoroughly and our intention is to do it so that it can be dispensed with long before the election because the closer it gets to the election, the more controversial it becomes.

"There was an attempt to do it after the 2006 census but unfortunately it was not done before the 2007 elections and since then, there have been a lot of demographic shift," he explained

He disclosed that the commission will conclude printing of the 70.5 million permanent voters' cards in 2013.

Jega also lamented the meagre budgetary allocation of N32 billion, saying INEC had proposed a budget of N57.7 billion but got an approval from the Budget Office to spend N32 billion in 2013.

Committee chair, Rep. Manwe said the constituency delineation was long overdue.

The House of Representatives had directed INEC to review Federal constituencies and Senatorial districts.

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