WAHALA!! 5 Days To Elections, CBN Yet To Make Cash Available To INEC
Less than a week to the 2023 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to get the cash needed to prosecute the exercise from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The electoral body had recently presented its cash requirement for the election to the CBN amid the scarcity of naira notes occasioned by the apex bank’s controversial cashless policy.
Last week, the National Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu disclosed that cash for the mobilisation of ad-hoc staff was yet to be made available.
Six days after the disclosure, the electoral body’s cash request from the CBN has still not been granted.
INEC had explained that even though most of its payment are done through online transfers, it would need cash for some specific services.
Earlier in February, Yakubu while speaking at a meeting with the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele at the CBN headquarters, Abuja expressed fear that the lingering cash crisis in the country may affect the conduct of the forthcoming election.
However, the electoral umpire is hopeful that the CBN would grant its cash request on or before Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Committee on Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye disclosed this to ThePunch on Sunday, February 19, 2023.
“We are hopeful that the challenge of physical cash required for the payment of certain categories of staff and some services will be sorted out on or before Tuesday, the 21st of February 2023,” he said.
On whether the riots fuelled by naira scarcity could affect voters turnout for the election, Okoye said that the cash crisis won’t discourage registered voters from exercising their franchise.
“The question of maintaining law and order is outside the remit of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Section 215(3) of the Constitution gives the Nigerian Police Force the responsibility of maintaining and securing of public safety and public order.
“The commission does not have its own security arm and cannot deploy security operatives to the streets.
“The commission has done its best to boost voters’ confidence in the electoral process. The commission converted voting points and voting point settlements into full-fledged polling units and took some closer to the voters.
“The commission keeps improving with every election. Nigerians are looking forward to the 2023 elections and they are ready to exercise their franchise.
“We are hopeful that the difficulties the nation is experiencing will not deter legally registered voters from showing up on election day. We want Nigerians to complement the preparations and efforts made by the commission by coming out to vote on election day.”
INEC has declared its readiness to conduct the 2023 general election as registered voters are expected to troop out to vote for their preferred candidates on Saturday, February 25, 2023.