By: Joy Odor/Abuja
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmud Yakubu has declared that a total of N300million will be saved by the commission for scheduling the Kogi State governorship and senatorial elections for same day on November 16.
Ptofessor Yakubu, who dropped the hint during the 2020 budget defence session with the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on INEC, said the idea came when they were served court order by Appeal Tribunal that nullified the senatorial election of Kogi West.
“We decided to combine the two elections after realising a mergin of N300 million. So, voters in Kogi west will now have two ballot papers and 2 boxes during the election.
“We have saved the cost of adhoc staff, Observers, Media and other logistics of conducting two elections, independently,” he said.
He also said that the commission will combine governorship in Bayelsa with supplementary election in 6 places in Brass local government area.
Responding to a query on why the INEC almost in every budget defence is caught with expenditure outside budget envelop, Mahmud responded that they work under sheered pressure to carryout some electoral process that couldn’t have been possible if they waited for budgetary allocations.
“Its very hectic time for us, it was almost impossible for us to conduct election in 2018 without spending outside the budget envelop” he said.
He cited the issue of bye elections and supplementary election as some of the reason that forced the commission to resort to extra budgetary spendings.
“Its something I don’t want say, but from 2015 to 2019, on an average, one National Assembly member died every months, and we must conduct election to replace them” he said.
The chairman of the senate committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South), commended the INEC chairman for saving N300 million.