Amidst the cash crunch that has brought the nation’s economy to its knees, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has released cash to the commission to pay for critical services at the local level.
This was made known on Friday in Abuja by the INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu during a press briefing ahead of Saturday’s elections.
According to Yakubu, the process will not suffer any encumbrance due to the recent cash crunch triggered by the naira re-design policy of the CBN.
“It is not all our operations that are paid for by cash. In fact, the bulk of our procurement for both goods and services is done electronically, but we need a small amount of money to pay for the unbanked who render critical services, particularly at the local level.
“We anticipated this challenge and interacted with the Central Bank, they promised us that the little amount we need to pay for services in cash, they will make the funds available to us and they have done so.
“And these funds have already been accessed by our state offices for elections which is why the movement of personnel and materials in the last couple of days has gone on unhindered. So, I must give credit for our relationship with the Central Bank in that regard. So, the process won’t suffer any encumbrance as a result,” Yakubu said.
The INEC boss also said it’s impossible to give the exact number of hours or days it will take before the official results for the 2023 presidential and national assembly are declared.
He however assured that everything would be done to ensure the results are declared speedily as the commission understands Nigerians would be anxious to get the results.
“I just want to say that we will ensure that it (result declaration) will be done speedily. I can’t put a finger on the number of days or number of hours it will take, but it will be done speedily. We are aware of the anxiety and the need for us to conclude the process quickly, it will be concluded quickly,” he said.
Yakubu added that the commission is on track with the movement of materials to the various locations around the country and the polls will be ready to open early tomorrow morning.
He said, “Having deployed these materials to the Local Government Areas, we are today devolving the deployment to the Registration Area Centers (RACs) so that early morning tomorrow the polls will open as planned. These RACs have been activated and election duty staff have started arriving in them.”