INEC displays voter register Nov 12, to spend N355b in 2023
• Yiaga decries low youth candidacy
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to display the preliminary voter register within nine days for Nigerians to be conversant with their polling units as the 2023 general elections approach.
Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekunmni, who made the announcement, yesterday, at the Run to Win town hall meeting, organised by Yiaga Africa, in partnership with Voice, in Lagos, advised citizens to take advantage of the information by avoiding last minute rush.
Represented by the Public Affairs Officer, INEC Lagos, Nike Oriowo, the REC added that the register would be displayed across the federation on November 12.
He emphasised that youths should equip themselves with the right information, especially on electoral matters and laws.
Olumekunmn observed that the concluded Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) witnessed high turnout of youth, indicating a shift from past.
He urged political parties to encourage more grassroots participation and engagement.
BESIDES, the electoral umpire is spending N355 billion on the polls.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had last December, told the National Assembly that it would require N305 billion as projected expenditure for the 2023 elections.
He had spoken when he appeared before the Senator Barau Jibrin-led Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Consequently, N305 billion was approved for the exercise.
But defending the 2023 estimates, yesterday, before the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Committee on INEC, Yakubu said the electoral body had budgeted another N50 billion for its yearly vote, an increment of N10 billion compared to the 2022 budget, which was N40 billion as approved by the National Assembly.
In the 2023 budget submitted to the panel for consideration, N2.6 billion was earmarked for off-season elections as they relate to Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa. Gubernatorial contests would not hold on November 11, 2023 in the three states.
DISTURBED by the drop in youth candidacy for the 2023 polls, Programmes Manager, Yiaga Africa, Ibrahim Faruk, reminded political parties that young Nigerians were much more interested in their activities.
He said there was a decline from 34 per cent in 2019 elections to 28 per cent in the coming polls.
Faruk submitted: “For us, that’s a worrying trend, because it means that youth representation is likely to reduce. We must ensure that the young people, who have emerged as candidates, receive as much support as possible.”
He challenged young candidates to be knowledgeable of new Electoral Act.
Faruk said Yiaga was working with Young Lawyers Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to organise specialised training for the young aspirants, who might not fully understand some of the new provisions, as well as those who might have some legal issues on their candidacy before or after the elections.
Run To Win is a campaign geared at retooling young women and men with competence, capacity and character to contest and win elections in Nigeria. Borne from demands of the Not Too Young to Run advocacy, the initiative was designed to support youth political aspirants to run issue-based campaigns, win elections and occupy elective offices.