Investigations has revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rescheduling of the Presidential and National Assembly elections to Saturday, February 23 has cost the electoral body about N7 billion.
It was gathered that INEC had set aside N32.2bn for the elections which should have taken place on February 16, 2019 and the N7 billlion loss represents over 20 per cent of the budget for the elections.
The breakdown of INEC’s presidential election budget, which was obtained by newsmen showed that N31.3bn was budgeted for operational cost while N88.9m was budgeted for election administrative cost and N786m for miscellaneous expenses.
Calculations has revealed that nearly a quarter of the budget had already been spent on transportation of over one million ad hoc staff; deployment of sensitive election materials, including over 150 million ballot papers and result sheets; and charges paid to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Air Force.
These expenses will also be incurred in today’s Presidential and National Assembly election.
The sum had already been expended as of last Saturday and would have to be spent again ahead of February 23.
In addition, N247m had been spent on the deployment of ICT technical support staff to registration areas, supervisory area and polling units.
The sum covers duty tour allowance for the deployment of men and materials to all the registration areas during the presidential election.
About N1.9 billion had been spent on movement allowance for over 1.3 million polling officers and assistant polling officers for election duties.
Also, about N1.8 billion had also been spent on election logistics, which included the movement, deployment and retrieval of men and materials for elections. The money covered the provision for distribution of sensitive materials for the election and the provision of logistic support to states as well as the distribution of non-sensitive materials.
The sum of N424m was paid for the transportation, accommodation and internal movement of 33, 950 return officers and collation officers.
INEC has also paid N525m to the CBN and the Nigerian Air Force for the storage and movement of election materials.
However, it remains unclear if the commission will again make full payment for these services to the CBN and air force or will be given concessions by the apex bank and the air force.
If the charges are paid again, it will bring the total sum to over N7.5bn
Meanwhile, the National Commissioner for Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Festus Okoye, has stated that he did not know how much the commission had lost to the postponement.
“I cannot say for sure how much was spent. I don’t have the statistics,” he said.
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JAMB reveals how 2019 UTME will be conducted
Ahead of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), said the board has introduced new innovations for successful conduct of 2019 UTME.
NAN reports that Oloyede made this known in Abuja on Monday at the meeting of critical stakeholders on strategic planning and preparations for supervision and evaluation of administration of 2019 UTME slated to hold between April 11 and April 15.
He said a robust item backed with appropriate safeguard had been developed by moving toward open examination with one million questions per subject which would soon be effected.
“A separate indicator had also been created for the deaf (mute) to differentiate them for special attention at the examination centre. Efforts are on to provide option of special centres or mainstreaming for the blind.
“We now have live report on centres that registered any candidate, the time the candidate was registered, who registered the candidate, computer system used, the location of registration.
“All these are done through our enhanced monitoring system. I want to warn candidates expected to sit for its examination to ensure their biometrics were taken and verified or risk sitting for the examination,’’ he said.
He called on candidates to comply with the rules of engagement governing the registration and examination of the UTME.
According to him, biometric verification will be the only mode for admittance of candidates into the examination centres.
He added that increasing threat of identity fraud during the UTME before the advent of BVM necessitated its introduction for capturing the biometrics of candidates to counter fraud.
“Any candidate that cannot be verified by the Biometric Verification Mode (BVM) must not be allowed to take the examination under any guise.
“All candidates whose fingerprints could not be captured during registration from centres across the country were brought to JAMB Headquarters and were registered appropriately.
“In other words, exemption mode is not allowed for any candidate. Therefore, no biometric verification, no examination,” Oloyede warned.
The registrar added that the use of email/password would not be allowed by cyber cafe operators as it had now been classified as an offence for cyber cafe to ask for password before rendering services.
Oloyede said the board held an international round-table on cheating devices in December 2017 where various technology devices used for examination further said that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was added to the list of prohibited items during its examinations.
He said other items prohibited are wristwatches, recorders, earpieces, mobile phones, Bluetooth devices, smart lenses, erasers, smart buttons and spy reading glasses, among others.
The registrar said the board had approved the use of 708 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres across the country for the conduct of the examination.
He noted that the names of impersonators in the last 10 years would soon be published to serve as deterrent to others, adding added that about 1.99 million candidates had registered for the examination.
He called on the candidates to ensure they comply with the rules and regulations of the examinations
Govt shut down three institutions with reasons
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has ordered the closure of three tertiary institutions in the state following a protest which turned violent in Ilesa.
Oyetola condemning the incident said the closure was with immediate effect.
The state government announced this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Adeniyi Adesina.
The statement reads: “Following the unwarranted destruction of public property by irate members of the public in Ilesa, Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Monday night ordered the closure of three higher institutions of learning.
“The affected schools are Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Osun State College of Health Technology, Ilesa, and Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke.
“The closure is with immediate effect, the government would not hesitate to take further drastic action, should the need arises in order to protect the lives and properties of the people.”
Governor Oyetola further assured residents of the state of safety, adding that the government is on top of the security situation in Ilesa and in all parts of the state.
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