As the 2019 general election approaches, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has budgeted N85 billion for logistics during the election.
Making this known when she spoke at a round table discussion between the Commission and the NURTW, RTEAN and NARTO, in Abuja, on Wednesday, INEC’s Head of Health and Welfare, Amina Zakari, said it will cost the Commission at least N10 billion, on logistics, to conduct a single election.
“We have earmarked N85 billion on logistics for the 2019 general elections. For a two-day election, which is the least number of days to conduct election, it cost about N10 billion on logistics. You can imagine what would be involved if we had to conduct the elections in more than one day; like the presidential separately, National Assembly and even the cost of conducting five elections separately.
“These costs exclude leasing of boats in riverine areas, additional gunboats for security, hiring helicopter for other areas affected by insurgency and difficult terrains.
“Moving of personnel and materials in those areas is very challenging and these must be done at the same time, nationwide. It is worst because about two-thirds of the country’s territory is covered by difficult terrain” she said
Speaking further, Zakara said
”The window for the deployment of electoral materials is too short, especially as it must be delivered between 5.00am to 8.00am. You can imagine the enormity of the task, considering the size of the country, difficult terrain and poor road network where the elections have to be conducted.
“We are not even considering the supplementary elections that may come up, the runoff elections and the possible suspension of areas where violence may disrupt the poll; which we normally suspend and reschedule.
“The logistics cost is really enormous and it will be good for the country to find a more cost-efficient manner elections can be conducted”.