The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to spend a total sum of N305bn to conduct next year’s general election, a document issued by the commission has indicated.
According to a 2023 General Election Project Plan that was launched by INEC in Abuja on Thursday, the electoral umpire will spend not less than N239.2bn on procuring voting materials and vehicles.
The commission added that N239.2bn, which constitutes 78.44 per cent of its N305bn budget, would be spent on 10 critical items which included ballot papers, operational vehicles, ballot boxes, allowances of ad hoc workers, the printing of result sheets, logistics and procurement of accreditation devices.
Included in the N239.2bn budget is a sun of N27.1bn set aside by the commission for possible run-off elections, including the one for the presidential poll.
An overview of the 2023 General Election Project Plan showed further that the highest single component would be the procurement of accreditation devices which will gulp N105.2bn. This also constitutes 34.51 per cent of the total election budget of N305bn.
The allowance for ad hoc workers, who will be more than one million people, is also estimated at N23.7bn, while another N23bn was reserved for election logistics expenses which include the movement, deployment and retrieval of men and materials for the elections.
INEC also plans spend N20.6bn on the printing of ballot papers and N12.7bn on the procurement of non-sensitive materials.
Meanwhile, the commission has set aside N9.5bn for the printing of result sheets, N7.8bn for the procurement of ballot boxes and a separate N5.39bn for the same purpose. It will, as such, spend N3.9bn for the procurement of operational vehicles.
A comparative analysis of the 2019 and 2023 general election budgets also showed that while N189bn was set aside for the previous elections, the 2023 general elections will gulp N305bn.
The INEC observed that while the country had 84 million registered voters in the last elections, it would have about 100 million voters in 2023
Also, while 119, 973 polling units existed last year, the next elections will have 176, 846 polling units. Besides, while the average cost per voter was $7.38 in 2019, it had dropped to $5.39 per voter.