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INEC Yet To Prepare 2019 Election Budget



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to prepare the budget estimates for the 2019 general elections, LEADERSHIP Sunday can report.

Though the election is barely 11 months ahead, it was reliably gathered that INEC is yet to bring out the tentative expenditure for the election.

The commission had fixed the presidential and the National Assembly elections for February 16, 2019 while the governorship, state assembly and the FCT area council elections will hold on March 2, 2019.

Even though the National Assembly is proposing that their election should come first before that of the office of the president, sources say that the dates for the elections will remain unchanged.

After the 2015 general elections, it was estimated that INEC, political parties and candidates spent about N1 trillion.

But with just about 11 months to the commencement of the conduct of the 2019 general elections, it was gathered that the electoral umpire is yet to prepare its budget for the exercise.

Findings by our correspondent show that the election budget is not yet ready despite demand by the House of Representatives for INEC to do so.

It was gathered that INEC’s 2018 budget only captured the two governorship elections that would hold in Ekiti and Osun states in 2018.

“We can’t give you a budget that is not ready,” an official of the commission, said.

He said: “We are in 2018 and the proposed expenditure for this fiscal year is what we defended at the National Assembly few weeks ago. “What was included in that budget is the two governorship elections we are conducting this year. The budget for the conduct of the 2019 elections is not yet ready because it is coming up next year.”

When contacted, the commission’s spokesman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said, “The budget for the 2019 general election will be ready soon and when that happens, Nigerians will have a full picture of what it entails.”

On when the budget would be presented to the National Assembly embers, Oyekanmi said, “It will be presented promptly to the National Assembly as soon as it is ready.”