Nigeria News

NIGERIA: INEC Identifies Logistics, Funding as Major Challenges Facing 2015 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has identified logistics, funding and lack of voters  confidence  as the  major challenges facing the commission as the general election in the county approaches .
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega,  dropped the hint in Asaba yesterday during a seminar organised by Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) in collaboration with INEC, with the theme:  â€˜Building confidence in the electoral system: the task before DSIEC.
Jega, however, promised that the commission would doing everything within its powers to address these challenges before the 2015 general election.
He said: “Logistics remains a major challenge in a country where basic infrastructure  is still lacking in many areas, it should always be remembered  that it is the same  washed off roads and treacherous waterways, the same poor water transportation facilities, the same airlines that runs late, the same  difficult electricity situation, among others that are used by EMBs during election.
“Yet, we cannot make excuses, what  is required is to plan early, build the right partnerships, share our difficulties  with the public  to the extent possible and prepare our staff adequately  for elections.”
While emphasising the importance of adequate funding of the commission, Jega explained that “planning is meaningless without adequate funding, this entails  both adequate  fund provision  and timely  release  of such funds.”
Jega pointed out that  the commission “received the full  support  of the government  in this regard  in 2011, however, we cannot  lose sight of  the reality  that elections only constitute  a small, but important  part  of any of  things competing  for funding.”
What is important, he argued, “is that both government  and EMBs maintain a balance view  of funding election based on adequate resources and financial discipline,” adding that “a major cost component  in Nigerian election  is the personnel cost: He said”  in the 2015 general election, our estimates suggest that  nearly  50 per cent  of the budget would go to personnel related heads, particularly  ad hoc staff.”
Jega  further noted that although  â€œelections management  in Nigeria is extremely challenging , with the right preparation, productive engagement  with stakeholders, openness  and accountability, our EMBs can build confidence in the electoral system to make election less conflict –prone.”
Governor Emmnauel Uduaghan in his remarks, noted that lack of preparation on the part of politicians often lead to electoral conflicts, adding that some  politicians oftentimes prepare petitions and plan for violence ahead of election proper.
He said the major hallmark of electoral victory  was the grassroots preparation, rather than hip blames of INCE when elections are lost.
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly , Hon. Victor Ochei, in his remarks stated  the resolve of the  assembly to work in concert  with the executive to partner DSIEC  in formulating laws  necessary  at ensuring  that Deltans decide who governs  them at the third tie of government.

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