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2019: Ballot Papers, Boxes To Gulp N36bn



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to spend about N35.7 billion on ballot papers and boxes for use in the 2019 general election, LEADERSHIP findings have shown.

So far, Nigeria has over 85 million registered voters eligible to vote in the 2019 general election. With the continuous voter registration exercise scheduled to end on the 17 of this month, the number of eligible voters is likely to increase.

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari submitted a budget of about N242 billion to the National Assembly for consideration as the needed fund by INEC and security agencies to conduct the 2019 polls.
Documents obtained by LEADERSHIP indicated that about N31,492,500,000.00 (approximately N31.5bn) has been estimated for the purchase and printing of ballot papers.

It was also gathered that an additional sum of N4,300,000,000.00 (N4.3bn) was also proposed for the procurement of over 200,000 ballot boxes for the polls, which put the total amount to be spent on ballot papers and boxes at N35.7 billion.

In 2019, INEC will conduct elections into 1,558 constituencies across 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It was gathered that elections would be conducted for 29 governorship seats out of 36, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 991 state assembly constituencies, six area councils and 62 councillorship positions for the FCT.

According to documents seen by our reporter, the N31,492,500,000 the commission is proposing to spend on the printing and procurement of ballot papers indicated that about five sets of over 80 million pieces of the voting papers are required for use in presidential, senatorial, House of Representatives, governorship and the state assembly elections.

Findings also showed that INEC had also estimated about 65 million ballot papers in the event of a possible presidential election run-off.

For the conduct of the 29 governorship elections in the country in 2019, it was gathered that the commission had also estimated about 19.5 million ballot papers, with about 30 percent for any possible gubernatorial election run-off.

INEC director of Voter Education and Publicity, Barr Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, told LEADERSHIP that the commission was making provisions for what its budget pending before the National Assembly could accommodate.
While urging Nigerians to support INEC in its plans to conduct a hitch-free general election, Uzzi said the commission was committed to consolidating the nation’s democracy through free and fair elections.





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