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Cashless policy likely to affect conduct of polls –INEC

Cashless policy likely to affect conduct of polls –INEC


With barely eleven days to the general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disclosed that Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) cashless policy may hinder the Commission’s ability to conduct the election.

INEC FCT Resident Electoral Commissioner, Yahaya Bello, made this known at the North-Central Stakeholders Roundtable on the 2023 General Elections which was organized by the the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) in Abuja, yesterday.


“As we are seated here, 99 percent of us are affected by the cashless policy. INEC is also affected. We have 2,822,000 polling units. Before the election day, we are going to employ the services of vehicle providers. We have had a lot of meetings with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). We have also brought in Maritime Workers Union. We have more than 12,000 adhoc staff in FCT that we are going to give cash for food and none of them will take a cheque, none of them will accept a transfer.

“There are 12,000 people that will require N5,000 each on Friday night. And also, those who are going to transport our materials and the security to the polling units. They are going to need cash to do that. Also, you will not take a security person to a polling unit from morning till evening without giving him money to eat and I don’t think you expect him to go to the POS to withdraw the N1,000 you are going to give him.”

Bello, however, stated that INEC was in discussions with the CBN to see how the problem could be handled.


“This policy does not affect only INEC FCT in particular. It is going to affect the whole Commission nation wide. So, the Chairman of the Commission, Professor, Mahmood Yakubu has been with the CBN governor, they also consulted and briefed the national Council of States, and the Presidency. This is an issue that is being tackled at the highest level because it affects the whole election generally. For now, we are going to wait for the outcome of the negotiations and discussions that are ongoing. So that we will know exactly what is going on.”

The CTA Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi said the Centre which is an election observation group will be observing the 2023 general election by deploying 2000 observers across the country to cover the 774 local government areas.

“These observers will be trained on Election Observation, Electoral Act 2022 and adherence to INEC Election Guidelines,” Nwadishi noted.

She further advised citizens to shun voting buying and selling which undermines the election, urging that candidates should campaign based on issues and not heat up the polity and creating fears in the hearts of people who want to vote.


The ED also called on security agencies to assure the masses of adequate protection within the election periods.

Nothwistanding the cash swap policy threat, the Plateau State, Dr. Oliver Tersoo Agundu, has reassured Plateau residents that the commission was ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the state.

He noted that elections will not hold in six polling units with one in Bassa; three Jos North; one Mnagu and one in Wase Local Government Areas respectively because no voter registered in such polling units.


Speaking during a stakeholders meeting on the collation of PVCs and preparedness for the 2023 general elections in Jos, Dr. Agundu informed the stakeholders that the commission has taken delivery of non sensitive materials of different categories like ballot s boxes, voting cubicle and deployed those materials to respective local government areas.

The REC noted that configuration of BVAS to specific polling units is ongoing and assured that the commission has also taken delivery of reasonable quantity as back-up for any eventuality during voting. He explained that there is no going back on the deployment of BVAS as an instrument for accreditation of prospective voters to ensure credibility and transparency of the next elections.



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