The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said to take ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to the 120,000 Polling Units across the country would require N137.4 billion.
The chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the opening of the commission’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Mr. Yakubu said the cost was calculated based on five staff currently deployed for the exercise in its offices in the 774 local government areas.
He said that the cost comprised daily expenditure of N1, 379, 689,000, variable cost of N4, 323,409, 080 and one-off-cost of N131, 763,990,000.
He explained that 629, 858 personnel needed to be deployed at the polling units for the daily registration, adding that for security, on the basis of two officers per unit, 239,946 security personnel would be required.
Mr. Yakubu explained that the ad hoc staff to be engaged for the job would be paid N2, 000 per day, at N1, 000 as honoraria, N500 for transportation and N500 for feeding, adding that N1.2 billion would be required for the daily allowance.
“The total provision for CVR in the 2017 Budget, including all the rerun and tenure elections, bye-elections and general elections, is N1.2 billion.
“So, all the money available in the budget is barely enough to pay for the cost of personnel for one day, assuming we deployed at PUs level, and that does not include security,” Mr. Yakubu said.
The variable cost, he added, were papers, inks, process of documentation and others needed for the exercise.
He also listed the one-off-cost to include new Direct Data Capture (DDC) Machines that would be procured.
“Remember the life span of DDC machine as we have been told is four years.
“The last time the commission acquired DDC machine we are currently using was in 2010 and 2011; that was six years to seven years ago.
“That is why we have the challenge; they are epileptic and slow.
“Each complete unit will cost one million naira; that is the machine, the printer, the fingerprint scanner, the webcam and the accessories.
“So, for the procurement of the DDC machine alone, we need N129 billion if we are to deploy at PU level.
“We have to buy at least one power generating set per Registration Area (RA), because some of the locations have no power at all. That will cost the commission N2.6 billion.
“The total cost for deployment for just take-off at polling unit level is N137.4 billion. Clearly, the commission doesn’t have the resources to deploy at that level.”
Mr. Yakubu said that to conduct the registration at the 8,809 RAs or ward levels would cost about N21 billion for take-off.
“We will require 46,247 staff, 17, 000 security personnel. If we are to pay the ad hoc staff N2, 000 per day it will cost the commission N92.4 million everyday for the exercise.”
He said that the ongoing registration in the 774 local government headquarters across the country was at no extra cost to INEC.
“We required 4,064 staff at zero cost, because we have our staff deployed at the local government areas.
“We don’t necessarily pay anything because they are our staff; they enjoy monthly salary.”
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