2023 elections: How we’ll tackle petrol, cash scarcities – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, claims to have found solutions to some of the issues that could stymie the general elections, which are set to begin with the presidential election on February 25.

For the umpteenth time, the commission also assured Nigerians that the 2023 general elections would take place as planned.

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, speaking to State House correspondents after briefing the Federal Executive Council, FEC, said the commission has already addressed the initial challenges posed by cash and gasoline scarcity.

Various stakeholders have expressed concerns about the INEC’s ability to conduct a free, fair, and credible election in the midst of perennial fuel scarcity as well as the cash crunch caused by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) redesign of naira notes, which has sparked protests in some parts of the country.

But speaking to newsmen after making presentation to the federal cabinet members at the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Yakubu, explained that the briefing was statutory and that a follow up meeting with the Council of State would hold on Friday, February 10.

He reassured that the Commission has already found answers to the two major concerns.

He “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 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, there is a technical committee, 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, for the purpose of stocking products to ensure that the Commission doesn’t suffer any encumbrances in movement of personnel and materials for the election.

“The second one is the currency issue and 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 national and on the 11th of March for the state election”, he said.

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