Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that not all the operations for the conduct of the February 25 and March 11 general elections require cash.
He said this yesterday in Abuja, after a tour of the training centre for INEC’s ad-hoc staff and inspection of facilities at the national collation centre at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja.
There have been concerns that this year’s general elections may be postponed or suffer glitches due to cash crunch in the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira re-design policy.
This prompted Yakubu to lead a delegation of management of the commission to the CBN headquarters where the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, assured the commission of the required cash for the elections.
But speaking yesterday, Yakubu allayed concerns about the unavailability of cash.
“We visited the CBN last week on the issue of cash for payment of some of the services, not all; some of the services that we are going to engage on election day.
“The bulk of payment for goods and services is made through electronic transfer. But there are certain critical services that will be remunerated by cash; and that’s why we went to the CBN and it’s a small percentage of the budget.
“The Central Bank has assured us that we will not suffer any encumbrances in that regard. So, there are no issues with respect to that,” he said.
The INEC boss insisted that the commission was ready for the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 25.
Yakubu, who expressed satisfaction with progress made so far, assured that by this time next week, Nigerians will be voting in over 176,000 polling units (PUs) for presidential and National Assembly elections.
On the security situation of the country, he said protests over cash crunch are a security matter, which will be discussed with security agencies, adding that the commission has been given assurance by security agencies of their readiness to secure the polling environment across the country.
The INEC boss also said that the National Peace Committee (NPC) led by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, will undertake the signing of the peace accord on Wednesday, February 22 at the ICC ahead of the Saturday elections.
Speaking on logistics and other processes leading to the election, he said the commission was “good to go” as far as transportation and movement of sensitive and non sensitive materials are concerned.