Polls: We’ve resolved petrol scarcity, cash crunch issues
Leon Usigbe- Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, 8th February 2023, affirmed that it has resolved two critical challenges that it faced towards the conduct of the general elections, which include petrol scarcity and the ongoing cash squeeze in the country.
The Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, who briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday on its preparation for the exercise, told correspondents after the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that the Commission had met with relevant stakeholders on fuel and cash supplies and agreements have been reached on how to make both available as needed.
He, therefore, assured that the electoral umpire is ready to conduct a hitch-free exercise starting the February 25 polls.
Mahmood said briefing the council is routine and in keeping with the tradition on the eve of general elections, revealing that the Commission will also brief the Council of States on Friday.
Asked to provide insight on the meeting, he said: “It is a general briefing. It’s in keeping with the tradition that on the eve of major elections, general elections in particular, the Commission is invited to brief Council. It is also invited to brief the Council of State. The briefing for the Council of State is going to take place on Friday, the 10th. So, it’s about the readiness of the Commission to conduct the elections.
“So, we took members of Council through all the preparations that we have put in place for the election and the few challenges that we are facing and the steps that we have taken to address those challenges.
“I can tell you two of these challenges quickly. The first one is the availability of petroleum products. We had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and they raised that as an issue of concern.
“Immediately after that meeting, we interfaced with the leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and right now, a technical committee is working.
“The idea is for them to avail us the use of their over 900 land mega stations as well as floating mega stations nationwide, to stock products to ensure that the Commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in the movement of personnel and materials for the election.
“The second one is the currency issue. Again, we had an engagement yesterday with the Governor of the Central Bank, and he assured us that the Commission will not suffer any encumbrances on that score.
“Fortunately for us, all our accounts, national and state, are held by the apex bank.
“So, we raised those challenges, but we have found a solution to those challenges.
So, be rest assured that the election will hold as scheduled; on the 25th of February for the national and on the 11th of March for the state election.”