INEC pays CBN, Air Force N1bn to store, transport election materials
Strong indications emerged that the Independent National Electoral Commission would spend in excess of N1bn on the storage and conveying of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The Punch reports that while the Central Bank of Nigeria was in charge of storing materials in its vaults in all its branches nationwide, the Nigerian Air Force was in charge of airlifting the materials to the respective states.
A copy of INEC’s 2019 election project plan read in part: “Provision for Central Bank of Nigeria charges for storage and logistics including NAF charges: N1, 050, 000, 000.00.
“Storage and logistics of sensitive election materials in all the 36 states and FCT at CBN for the two elections would cost N28, 378, 378.38.”
Recall that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had said at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday that the air force deployed eight aircrafts to airlift 633, 790kg of sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the polls.
He added that the aircraft flew 340 hours in 257 sorties with about 120 crew members involved, comprising pilots, technicians and other specialties operating round the clock.
It was learnt that a lot of time, money and energy were expended on logistics because of many errors on the part of INEC.
Some of the items were wrongly distributed which ultimately led to a postponement of the polls thereby making it necessary for certain expenses to be repeated.
For instance, some result sheets for the presidential and National Assembly elections meant for Imo State were discovered to be in Gombe and Ondo states. Similarly, some results sheets meant for Gombe State had been found in Imo State.
Similarly, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Kwara State, Mallam Attahiru Madami, said that the result sheets meant for the state were mistakenly taken to Abuja while some meant for Lagos were mistakenly delivered in Kwara.
According to him, some of Lagos result sheets were also taken to Nasarawa State.
The mix up of election materials was also said to have incurred extra expenses.
It would be recalled that some election materials meant for Imo State for instance were found in Nasarawa and vice versa.