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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to spend the sum of N40.8 billion on 2,763,990 adhoc staff nationwide in the 2019 general elections, according to a report.

It was learn that the adhoc staff would joined INEC staff in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, for the conduct of the general elections.

Even though 700,000 personnel nationwide is required to be used in the 2019 general elections, the commission is preparing honoraria for various categories of 2,763,990 adhoc staff for two sets of elections, in the advent of a possible presidential run off and three governorship runoffs.

INEC will conduct elections into 1,558 constituencies, made up of one presidential constituency, 29 govemorship constituencies out of 36, 109 Senatorial Districts, 360 Federal Constituencies, 991 State Assembly Constituencies, 6 Area Council Chairmen as well as 62 Councillorship positions for the FCT.

The 2,763,990 Adhoc Staff which will include National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members, would be selected after a rigorous training.

It was gathered that the sourcing for the adhoc staff which have commenced, will go through the process of advertising the vacant position needed, shortlisting the names of the qualified personnel, screening and vetting of profiles.

It was gathered that the selected adhoc staff names and data would be published in the INEC’s recruitment portal for the 2019 general elections.

A breakdown of the N40.8 billion to be spent on the adhoc staff indicated that N28,549,865,450.00 (N28.4bn) is to be spent on honoraria for various categories of 2,763,990 people that INEC will engage.

N7,995,429,000.00 (N7.9bn) would be spent as allowance for 2,665,143 polls officials to report for election duty.

N1,697,500,000.00 (N1.6bn) is also to be spent on transportation, accommodation and internal movement of about 33,950 returning officers and other poll officials in the general election and possible runoff elections.

A total of about N79,480,000.00 (N79.4mn) would be given as support to NYSC State directors who are to received N50,000.00. The LGA inspectors and other unspecified categories would receive N25,000.00 while about N2,000,000,000.00 (N2bn) is also budgeted as allowances for INEC staff owing to escalated levels of special duties by the commission’s staff at general elections, one off for all election situation room special duty allowances, which put the total amount to be spent on adhoc staff at about N40.8 billion.

The Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, while speaking on the general elections expenses, called on the Nigerian government to adopt technology in other to cut down cost.

Musa said with the addition of technology in the conduct of elections, it will reduce the huge spending.

“We have always maintain that the failure of the previous governments and the existing one not using the equipment and the personnel on ground,” is increasing cost of conducting elections,”Musa said.

“There should be a system of utilising existing equipment in the conduct of elections,” Musa said referring to the huge number of adhoc staff to be use in the 2019 general elections by INEC.

“It has always been overblown budget from the previous to the present,” Musa said while talking about increasing financial burden in election conduct.

“When election time comes, people tend to see it as a time for contract awards. They see election period as a time for them to make money from it and they don’t want to use the previous facilities and equipment that was used.”

“Otherwise, there is no justification using this kind of huge amount of money in the name of organizing elections if we are serious about utilising the previous facilities.”

“As good as election is, we do not think it is proper to use this huge about of money every four years on the conduct of elections. The spending can be reduce through prudence and proper management of the resources. We can adopt technology if government is committed to the new trend,” Musa added.

The anti-graft crusader said if Nigeria improve on its present state of technology, it won’t need huge number of people as adhoc staff in every election.

“In Nigeria, must public officials don’t want this technology to work. They will continue to sabotage any modern technology that will ease the electoral process. Not only on election, our elites don’t want technology to work in every aspect of governance. With the present government that has been championing transparency, the government need to rejig the cost of running government. We don’t need to keep lamenting,” Musa said further.

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