The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will use N1.4 billion to purchase ballot boxes to be used during the 2019 general election.
Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of INEC, made this known on Monday while appearing before the house of representatives committee on electoral matters and political parties affairs.
He said INEC would replace the transparent ballot boxes with plastic ones.
Yakubu said the commission faced the challenge of local manufacturers being unable to deliver the number of boxes within the required stipulated time.
“Sometimes it is easier said that we have manufacturers who have the capacity but when you engage them you realise that we may not have such capacity for volumes and this not only peculiar to elections,” he said.
“So while it is important for us to encourage our domestic producers, we are also careful about that particularly because some of the procurement items are time bound.”
The INEC boss said the commission was working to come up with a specific amount that would be expended on the 2019 election.
“I think it is better for us to do the proper thing so that we approach the executive and the national assembly with a figure we can vouch for and once it is approved we don’t come back towards the election with another supplementary figure,” he said.
He added that they were working hard to ensure smooth election takes place in 2019.
Aishatu Dukku, chairperson of the committee, advocated that the electoral reform measures should be reflected in the 2017 INEC budget.
“The identification and adoption of best practices in electoral framework and administration among nations have resulted in placing countries under pressure to introduce electoral reform measures,” she said.
“I am strongly advocating that this electoral reform measures will form part of the budget of INEC. It is important that the budget of INEC be made to show widespread public accountability and transparency of the commission.”