The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has submitted a supplementary budget request of N18 billion to the National Assembly to address issues concerning staff welfare and allowances, as well as to facilitate the organization of 11 pending bye- and off-cycle elections.
Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed the purpose of the supplementary budget during a presentation before the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters and the Senate Committee on INEC at the National Assembly.
Explaining the breakdown of the budget, Yakubu emphasized that N10.6 billion of the total amount is intended to cover a 40% increase in peculiar allowances for INEC staff, which was approved by the Federal Government in April of the current year. In addition, over N3 billion is allocated to pay INEC staff the approved N35,000 award meant for every Public Servant across the country for a period of six months, as mandated by the Federal Government.
This additional support for staff allowances is expected to alleviate the financial burden faced by INEC employees, particularly in light of rising fuel and commodity prices following the removal of fuel subsidies.
The supplementary budget, totalling N18 billion, was initially proposed by the Commission and presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration. Following approval by the FEC, the proposal was referred to the National Assembly for further review and approval.
This budget request comes at a crucial time when INEC is gearing up for the conduct of several important elections, and it highlights the Commission’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of its staff in the face of economic challenges.