Why Continuous Voters’ Registration at ward level is impossible — INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has defended its inability to further decentralize the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) down to ward levels. 
It said that scaling down the CVR exercise from the local government level to the wards would require the level of funding the commission does not have.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this in Kaduna during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and other senior staff of the commission over the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration process. 
According to him, about N1.2 billion will be required daily to pay allowances of adhoc staff, while the total budgetary provision for CVR in the 2017 budget, including re-run and tenured elections, by-elections and general elections, is N1.2 billion this year.

He added that INEC decided to deploy the CVR exercise at the local government level because it was the only affordable option that could be accommodated within its current budgetary allocation. 
Yakubu said that the procurement of the Direct Data Capture, DDC, machines needed for the deployment at polling unit level was N129bn, even as he revealed that the total cost for deployment for take off at polling units level was N137.4 billion.

He said, “The total budgetary provision for CVR in 2017 budget including all the rerun and tenured elections, bye-elections and general elections is N1.2b this year.

“So, all the money available in the budget is barely enough to pay for the cost of personnel for one day, assuming we deployed at PUs level, and that does not include security.” 
‘’For security, on the basis of two officer per PU we would require 239,000 security personnel. Assuming that we pay the ad hoc staff we have to engage because we don’t have the staff at PUs level, the sum of N2,000 ; not the amount we paid for general elections, which is one day, because it is going to be daily. At N2, 000 we reasoned that N1, 000 will be for their honorarium, N500 for transportation and N500 for feeding.

‘’That is on the assumption also that we are not going to get vehicle to take the to everyday to PUs. Then we have variable cost. You need papers, process of documentation and others. Then we have one-of-cost for the exercise. 
“That will include new Direct Data Capture (DDC) Machines that we need to procure. Remember the life span of DDC machine as we have been told is four years.

“The last time the Commission acquired DDC machine that we are currently using was in 2010/2011; that was between six and seven years ago. That is why we have the challenge, you see they are epileptic, slow and the rest. 
“Each complete unit will cost a million Naira. That is the machine, the printer, the fingerprint scanner, the webcam, the accessories; multiply by the number we require. So for the procurement of the DDC machine alone we need N129bn, if we are to deploy at PU level.

“Then of course you have to buy conservatives at least one power generating set per registration Area(RA) because some of the locations have no power at all. That will cost the commission N2.6billion. 
“The total cost for deployment for just take off at polling units level is N137.4bn; clearly the commission doesn’t have the resources to deploy at that level.

“So we thought option one is not immediately possible even if we reduced the number of staff we are going to deploy from five to say two and you divide the cost by five and you take 40 per cent of the cost, it will still be in billions far more than what have been budgeted for in this year. 
“So we thought it was impossible we looked at option two. What is second opinion? can we deploy at RA level, we have 8,809 RAs across the nation. We will require 46,247 staff, 17,000 security personnel. If we are to pay the ad hoc staff N2,000 per day it will cost the Commission 92.4m everyday for exercise,’’ he said.

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Why Continuous Voters’ Registration at ward level is impossible — INEC Why Continuous Voters’ Registration at ward level is impossible — INEC Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Thursday, 8 June 2017 Rating: 5

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