Naira scarcity: INEC Chairman visits CBN governor, seeks cash for payment of services 

In view of the recent policy of redesign of some denominations of Nigeria’s currency, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesdays visited the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria with a view to addressing  areas requiring cash for payment of services vital to the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

According to the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the major areas of concern were transportation and human support services that have to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered.

Other areas as highlighted by the INEC boss included emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments, adding that some of the critical service providers are unbanked. 

He told the CBN governor that over the years, the commission had worked with the CBN and commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections as well as off-cycle and bye-elections. 

He also stated that over the years the Commission had also migrated all its accounts at national and state levels to the CBN and this arrangement has worked without encumbrances to our activities.

He said “Nigerian election is a huge and complex undertaking. It requires the engagement of critical services. 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 equally critical areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately remunerated either partially or in full before services are rendered. In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. 

“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 elections as well as off-cycle and bye-elections. Over the years, the commission has also migrated all its accounts at National and State levels to the CBN and this arrangement has worked without encumbrances to our activities.

“In view of the recent policy involving the redesign of some denominations of our national currency, and the limits placed on cash withdrawals, we consider this meeting important in addressing some of the areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 General Election.

“We are confident that arising from this meeting, we can assuage the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers. We are determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best organised elections in Nigeria but we cannot do it alone. That is why the Commission is mobilising every critical national institution for the success of the election. This meeting is part of this effort.”