With less than a week to the conduct of the 2023 general elections, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is yet to release funds requested by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for logistics.
Credible sources informed DAILY INDEPENDENT on Saturday evening that this may put the elections into jeopardy.
The Chief Press secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi had earlier confirmed that the electoral body had already presented its cash requirement for prosecuting forthcoming elections to the CBN.
On Saturday, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said that he is confident INEC will honour its cash request for the elections.
He however said that not all the operations for the conduct of the February 25 and March 11 general elections required the use of physical cash.
Yakubu allayed concerns on the current Naira scarcity on Saturday in Abuja after a tour of the training centre for INEC ad-hoc staff or presiding officers, and inspection of facilities at the national collation centre at the International Conference Centre (ICC).
He said “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,” Yakubu said.
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 CBN’s Naira re-design policy.