INEC spent N2, 249 per voter, N189B in 2019 general election, say report
For every vote cast in the 2019 general election, a sum of $6.24, translating to N2, 249, was spent, a report released yesterday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.
According to the report, which was a review of the 2019 general election, the figure was well within acceptable global standard.
INEC conducted the 2019 poll comprising the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, 2019 and the governorship, state houses of assembly and FCT Area Council elections on March 9, 2019.
The National Assembly had in 2018 approved the electoral umpire’s request to expend the sum of N189b for the 2019 poll.
“This translates to N2, 249 ($6.24) per voter. This figure is well within the internationally acceptable Average Cost per Registered Voter Index (ACRVI) that ranges from $1 to $3 in established and stable democracies and $4 to $8 in transitional democracies and from $9 in post-conflict and transitional democracies,” the report stated.
The electoral umpire’s budget for 2019 election had an increase of about N69 billion compared to the 2015 election budget.
INEC claimed the increase in number of political parties, increase in voters’ population and registered voters, high cost of logistics, exchange rates and increase in number of constituencies were reasons for the increase.
Speaking at the presentation of the report in Abuja, chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed that the 2019 election was the largest electoral exercise so far undertaken in the history of elections in Nigeria.
According to him, the election was contested by 24,353 candidates nominated by 91 political parties for 1,558 constituencies and with a voter population of 84,004,084 spread across 119,973 polling units and 57,023 voting points across the country.
He added that a total of 821,686 ad hoc staff were engaged for the elections while the commission also accredited 71,256 domestic and international observers as well as 11,250 domestic and international journalists.
The INEC boss said the report, which is presented in 13 Chapters, covers the major issues associated with the conduct of the election.
“These include the vision, mission, opportunities and challenges of the commission upon its inauguration on November 9, 2015, the lessons learnt from the conduct of over 170 off-cycle governorship elections and bye-elections, the review of the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Programme of Action (SPA), the 2015 Election Project Plan (EPP) and the design, formulation and implementation of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, Strategic Programme of Action and the 2019 Election Project Plan.”
According to Yakubu, the second report, a review of the 2019 general election based on the outcome of the commission’s retreats and stakeholder engagements covers the outcome of internal debriefing meetings and external engagements with electoral stakeholders held from May 28 to July 12, 2019.
“It contains 180 recommendations that either require administrative action by the commission or amendments to strengthen the existing electoral legal framework by the National Assembly. Some of the recommendations that require administrative action by INEC are already being implemented resulting in improved management of the electoral process as seen in the recent off-cycle Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.”
He explained that the commission was engaging with the National Assembly on aspects of the recommendations that require legislative action.