Home Local News INEC Chairman Meets CBN Governor Over Availability of Cash for Election Logistics

INEC Chairman Meets CBN Governor Over Availability of Cash for Election Logistics

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Ahead of the 2023 elections, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday paid a working visit to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele where he expressed concerns over the new naira redesign policy, especially as it affects withdrawal limit.

Yakubu explained that the policy, if not properly managed may impact the 2023 General Election negatively.

The new Naira redesign policy has continued to generate several reactions across the country as most Nigerians believe the new policy has ushered in scarcity of the new Naira notes and caused hardship instead of succor to citizens.

According to the INEC Chairman, the meeting was in view of the recent cash swap deadline policy, caused by the redesign of some denominations of naira currency, and the limits placed on cash withdrawals and availability.

Gven the complexity of the elections in Nigeria the INEC Boss explained that some of the logistics activities such as transportation, human support amongst others may require heavy cash transactions which may be impaired by the CBN policy.s

Yakubu said the meeting was necessary to assure vendors most of whom are unbanked and undeserved that cash would be made available as payment for their services and for the CBN governor to eliminate the worries by some of the vendors.

Professor Mahmoud said that the electoral commission needed to collaborate with banks across the country for success logistics system as most of the vendors and service providers to be hired for the election logistics, will need to be paid.

“The Nigerian election is a huge and complex one. It requires the engagement of critical services and in line with the provisions of the exchange laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to their accounts. However, there are crucial areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately enumerated either partially or in full because services are rendered.

“In addition, emergency situations may arise that require immediate cash payments. Over the years, we have worked with the CBN, commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections, off-cycle and bye-elections. Over the years, the Commission has migrated all its accounts at national and state levels to CBN and this arrangement has worked without hindrances to our activities.

“In view of the recent policy involving the redesigning of some denominations of our currencies and the limit on cash withdrawals and availability, we consider this meeting important in addressing some of our areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 general election. We are confident that an aspect of this meeting will reduce the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers. We are determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best elections in Nigeria but we cannot do it alone”, the INEC chairman said.

In his response, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele , assured INEC that the Apex bank will ensure it make cash available to the commission for payment of logistics and movement of election materials.

Emefiele added that that he will not give room for the Apex Bank to be viewed as an agent that frustrated the positive outcome of the General Election.

“Because we regard the INEC project as the topmost or an urgent National assignment, it cannot fail and the CBN would not allow itself either to be used or seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of that election. We are committed to support INEC in the area of electronic means of payment and cash to pay some service providers during the elections”, Emiefele said.

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