The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been assured by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it will not experience cash shortages during the 2023 general election.
When INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu visited CBN headquarters on Tuesday, the apex bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made this clear.
Fuel scarcity and the dearth of naira were previously mentioned as potential election-related factors by the electoral commission.
During the meeting on Tuesday, the INEC Chairman reiterated the commission’s concerns regarding scarcity.
According to existing laws and regulations, service providers typically receive payment via an electronic transfer to their accounts. The Nigerian election is a huge and complicated undertaking that necessitates the engagement of critical services.
“However, there are other equally important areas, such as human support services and transportation, that require immediate payment, either in part or in full, before services can be rendered. Additionally, unexpected events may occur that necessitate immediate cash payments. Unbanked are some of the essential service providers.
“We truly do appreciate the fact that the INEC supported by the Nigerian populace have the trust and confidence in the central bank’s ability to play the roles that we have played for you so far to ensure that our elections hold without any hitches,” Emefiele stated. We have previously been involved in the transportation of electoral materials via our armored bullion van and the storage of INEC election materials.
We are pleased that we have not disappointed you throughout this relationship, which is why you have called me once more this time. Now, aside from the problem of transporting election materials from CBN locations to your own specific or designated locations and storing them,
“I am aware that when I visited your office just a few months ago, you brought up the question of how the foreign currency can be obtained for you to import the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other forms of election material that need to be imported. I gave you my word that foreign currency will be provided for that purpose. I know that you raised that issue with me. I am here to confirm that, as of this moment, all of the funds required to import those goods have been provided and that those goods have been imported.
Therefore, it all forms part of our commitment. Given that we view the INEC project as a topmost or urgent national assignment, it cannot fail, and the central bank would not permit itself to be used or seen as an agent that obstructed a positive outcome of that election, with regard to this issue of pain and logistics for those who will be transporting election materials.
Therefore, I am here to make that promise to you. You have always been responsible; it is not just about cash; you have previously made electronic payments. If, after making your electronic payments, you require cash to pay transporters, I can assure you that we will make it available, so there is nothing to worry about.