INEC Submits Cash Request To CBN Ahead Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented its cash requirement to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable it execute the forthcoming elections, as requested by the apex bank.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC Chairman, in an interview on Friday said even though the Commission does most of its payments through online transfers, some specific services had to be paid for in cash even as he expressed hope that its demand would be met with a positive response.

Recall the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, had recently visited the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to seek the apex bank’s support toward a hitch-free election, especially with the new naira policy that had led to the scarcity of the new notes and placed restrictions on cash withdrawal.

Emefiele had also promised that the naira redesign would not affect the election, as the apex bank would provide the required cash and other support needed for the smooth conduct of the poll.

However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Federal Capital Territory, Yahaya Bello, on Tuesday raised the alarm that the naira crisis might affect the conduct of the elections.

Nonetheless, Oyekanmi said. “The need to make these special arrangements informed the meeting between the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and the governor of the central bank on February 7, 2023.

“We have made a detailed submission on our entire cash requirement on a state-by-state basis as the CBN requested. Our submission is under consideration and we have the assurances of a positive response soon. Therefore, there is no cause for alarm. We believe that the CBN will meet us at our point of need.

“Normally, the Independent National Electoral Commission makes payments for various services through electronic transfers. The bulk of the payments the commission makes for services rendered by vendors or service providers is carried out through transfers. Luckily, all the commission’s accounts are with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“However, there are some specific services, which form a small percentage of the total, that must be paid for in cash due to certain circumstances. For instance, there are service providers in remote, rural areas where banking services are not readily available.”

He listed the service providers to include motorcycle, boat, or canoe operators and those that supply water to its Registration Area Centres, where men and materials are deployed to the polling units on election days.

“If you do not pay such providers in cash, they may not be in the position to provide the critical services that we need, so we must make the required provision.

“We also pay our presiding officers their training allowances in cash, just as we make some part payments to vehicle owners for the transportation of our men and materials in cash, but these payments are only a small percentage of the quantum of payments that we make, the bulk of which is through electronic transfers.”

Asked about the cash amount the Commission needed from the CBN, Oyekanmi said, “I do not have that information.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button