INEC to conduct fresh voter's registration in first quarter of 2021 - Yakubu

INEC to conduct fresh voter's registration in first quarter of 2021, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu says.
Emeh Joy

The Independent Electoral Commission, INEC is set to conduct another new round of voter's registration in the first quarter of 2021, the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu said.

Yakubu said this to reporters in Abuja on Wednesday after appearing before the Senate Committee on INEC to defend the Commission's 2021 budget.

According to him, the voter's registration exercise would run till six months before the 2023 general elections.

"We will resume voter registration in the first quarter of 2021. And once we resume, it will be continuous for one and half years, at least until six months to the next general election".

Yakubu also disclosed that the commission is currently involved in about 1,700 pre-election and post-election court cases from the general elections conducted in 2019.

However, he said the commission isn't paying huge fees instead applying Federal Ministry of Justice scale of fees.

"Every day, you hear people going to court and joining INEC, but we will continue to do what we can within available resources", he said.

Yakubu who spoke earlier at the budget defence disclosed that the Commission plans to withdraw N5.2 billion from its N10 billion fund to augment its 2020 budget.

He said the commission had not dipped hands into the fund since it was established in 2010, adding that the withdrawal is a result of the reduction in its 2020 budget.

"What has happened now is, our budget for 2020 dropped to N40 billion from N45.5 billion in 2019. As a result of the 10% COVID-19 cut, it further dropped to N36 billion in the middle of the year when we had already made preparations for the expenditure.

"Therefore, since that fund is made for the rainy days, I informed the committee that the rainy day has come. So, we are taking part of the fund to balance our budget for this year", he said.

The INEC Chairman also spoke concerning voting by Nigerians in the diaspora. He said the commission desires that Nigerians abroad get the right to vote.

However, he noted that to actualise that, the constitution and the Electoral Act has to be amended.

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