Friday Olokor, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission says it spent the sum of $6.24 or N2,249 for every vote cast in the 2019 general elections, according to a 384-page report released in Abuja on Friday.
The ‘Report of the 2019 general election,’ formally released by the Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja on Friday, said the amount and the figures were well within acceptable global standard.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the National Assembly had in 2018 approved the request by INEC to spend N189bn 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 that ranges from $1 to $3 in established and stable democracies, $4 to $8 in transitional democracies, and from $9 in post-conflict and transitional democracies,” the report said.
INEC stated that the increase in the number of political parties, increase in the voting population and registered voters, high cost of logistics, exchange rates, and increase in number of constituencies were reasons for the increase.
Yakubu, who spoke at the presentation of the report and ‘Review of the 2019 general election: Review of the commission’s retreats and stakeholder engagements,’ explained 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 voting population of 84,004,084 spread across 119,973 polling units and 57,023 voting points across the country.
The INEC boss, whose first tenure lapses on Monday and has been re-nominated, said a total of 821,686 ad hoc staff members 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.
He added that the report, which is presented in 13 chapters, covers the major issues associated with the conduct of the election.
Yakubu said, “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 by-elections, the review of the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and Strategic Programme of Action, the 2015 Election Project Plan and the design, formulation and implementation of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, Strategic Programme of Action and the 2019 Election Project Plan.”
He stated that 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.
The commission, according to him, is engaging with the National Assembly on aspects of the recommendations that require legislative action.
He said, “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.”