Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: INEC to Spend N310 Million to Monitor Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to spend N250 million to fund its scheduled participation in foreign election observer missions this year, just as the commission is to spend another N50 million to monitor local elections and by-elections in 2013, LEADERSHIP investigations revealed.

Nigeria's Election Management Body (EMB) which plans to visit 15 unspecified countries disclosed that the sum will cover estacode, ticket and other allowances for the commission's delegation.

The scheduled activity is contained in INEC proposals presented to the Jerry Manwe-led House of Representatives Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and obtained by LEADERSHIP.

Also, N60 million is to be spent by INEC to monitor annual political party conventions and gubernatorial primaries in six states.

So far, the commission has deregistered 31 political parties for failing to meet requirements as clearly stipulated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act.

A breakdown reads: "Monitoring of annual conventions of registered political parties in 2013 (N20,000,000); monitoring duties in compliance with relevant laws and enhance transparency and to prepare reports and extract list of contesting candidates (N20,104,400); provision of Management Support Service, Quality Assurance, Control, visitation trip and supervision for training on bye-elections (N19,895,600)."

The commission had announced plans to commence, by the first quarter of 2013, constituency delimitation (N2, 545,540,000) and the continuous voter registration process. INEC disclosed that it would conclude printing of the planned 70.5 million permanent voter cards this year.

INEC had proposed N57, 708,199,460.26 as its 2013 budget but got an approval from the Budget Office to spend N32 billion for the said year. The National Assembly equally approved N32 billion in statutory transfers to the commission - a situation INEC chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega said could dent the commission's preparation for the 2015 general election.

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