Delay in the passage of the Electoral Act prevented the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from including the budget of 2019 elections in the 2018 appropriation, Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the commission has said.

Mr. Yakubu said until legislative process is completed on the bill, the commission will be unable to estimate effectively the cost for the election.

He made this known on Wednesday while appearing before the senate committee on INEC to defend the 2018 budget.

“We can’t complete work on the election budget unless the national assembly has helped us to complete work on the electoral act,” he said.

“For instance, there is provision in the bill passed by the senate for two types of primaries; direct and indirect. One party may opt for direct, another for indirect and both will have different cost implications.

“What are we going to do? We have to wait until the act is passed before we know the correct figure. I will appeal to the distinguished senators to expedite work on the electoral act so that we can have an idea of the figure.”

Mr. Yakubu noted that INEC has made three key improvements on the card readers for forthcoming elections.

“First, we are improving the processors of smart card readers so that it will be speedier. Secondly, we are increasing the windows where people press the fingers on election day.

“We have realised that part of the problem sometime is with the size of the window.

“If the entire thumb covers the window, there is the tendency that for the machine not to recognise it. The third part is to enhance it to be able to transmit from the polling uni,” he said.

Source: Premium Times