The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is ready for the 2023 general election and is optimistic the funds available to it will be enough for the job.
The commission while reiterating its readiness for the exercise said all arrangements were on course for the conduct of the polls.
INEC also dismissed fears that it was having financial constraints ahead of the polls.
Speaking through its Kaduna State Admin Secretary, Awwal Mashi during a stakeholders’ meeting and training of members of Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the workings of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), the Commission said
“INEC has gotten all the funds required for the conduct of the general elections.”
Mashi also said that the commission had recently held a successful mock accreditation to ascertain the functionality and efficacy of the BIVAS machine, saying that, “satisfactorily, the machines were perfectly okay. I can assure you that God willing, we will not have any problems with our machines,” he said.
He said that about 408,000 new Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and 228,000 others transferred from other locations were received by the commission and almost 90 percent of them had been collected by the owners before the close of the PVC distribution exercise.
According to him, sensitive materials for the election were already secured at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while 70 percent of the non-sensitive materials have already been distributed to the INEC state offices.
“We have employed 34,000 personnel to conduct the elections in the state, this figure includes the ad-hoc to man the 8,012 polling units in Kaduna State.”
On funding, the INEC Chief said, “Let me use this opportunity to tell you that, all funds for the execution of the general elections have been sent to us.
“Everything that is required in terms of financing has already been received and that includes transportation, payment of ad-hoc staff, and others; everything has been sent to us.”
The meeting featured questions and answers session and participants were made up of politicians, traditional and religious leaders among others, while the training of the journalists was characterized by the practical demonstration of how the BVAS device works.
Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Chairman, Correspondents’ Chapel, NUJ Kaduna, AbdulGafar Alabelewe, expressed appreciation to INEC for the training, saying that, the training was necessary in view of the new innovations introduced for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He however urged journalists to deploy the knowledge acquired while covering the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, as well as the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections.