The independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has solicited the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to conduct elections that will be acceptable to Nigerians.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the request in Abuja when he led a delegation to visit the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele.
Professor Yakubu said the country’s election was a huge and complex undertaking that required the engagement of critical services from some providers.
“In line with the provisions of extant laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to their accounts.
However, there are critical areas, such as transportation and human support services, that needed to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered, he said.
In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments as some of the critical service providers are unbanked.
“Over the years, we have worked with the CBN and Commercial Banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general election as well as off-cycle and bye-elections.”
Over the years, Professor Yakubu continued, the Commission has migrated all its accounts at National and State levels to the CBN – arrangements which he insisted have been working without encumbrances.
The INEC Chairman said the visit became necessary in view of CBN’s recent policy of redesigning some denominations of national currency, the limit placed on cash withdrawals and availability.
Responding, the CBN Governor said both agencies have been working together in the past in the areas of housing sensitive materials for election and taking them to locations when needed .
Mr Emefiele pledged the support of the apex bank in ensuring seamless operations of INEC on Election days.
“This issue of paying logistics for people who are going to transport election materials, the assurance am giving to you is that because we regard the INEC project as an urgent National assignment, it cannot fail and the Central Bank would not allow itself either to be used or the central bank to be seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of that election,” Mr Emefiele assured his guest.
He said the CBN would continue to support the Electoral Body in its efforts to conduct credible elections in the country.
Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor