10 Days to Elections: Why Poll Success is in doubt - INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the number one challenge it is facing is cash crunch due to the new CBN policy.

The Commission stated that it has not yet received cash necessary to mobilize ad hoc employees for the polls ten days before the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25.

INEC Chairman
INEC Chairman

Since the Central Bank of Nigeria's redesign of the N200, N500, and N1000 notes, Nigerians have struggled with a lack of naira notes (CBN).

The head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, met with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to request some concessions regarding the new naira redesign policy.

Specifically, he asked for some flexibility in cash withdrawals and for some cash to be made available to meet certain needs that cannot be addressed through electronic transfers of money. Emefiele promised to provide the needed naira notes to INEC, so as not to hinder the forthcoming general election.

However, it has emerged that the new notes have not yet been made available to INEC, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has expressed concern that the commission's ability to conduct the election may be affected by the CBN's cashless policy.

Bello explained that INEC needs cash to coordinate security and logistics, and the scarcity of naira notes may hinder the commission's ability to deploy staff and materials for the election, as many required services can only be obtained through cash transactions.

"We have more than 12, 000 ad-hoc staff that we are going to give cash to.

“None of them will receive a cheque or accept a transfer. I am talking about FCT (12,000), which will require about N5,000 (each) cash on Friday night. Also, those who are going to transport our men, materials and security to the polling units will need cash to do that.

“Also, you will not take a security person to a polling unit from morning till evening without giving him money to eat and I don’t think you expect him to go to the POS to withdraw the N1,000 you are going to give him,” he said.

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