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2023: CBN Assures INEC that Cash Crunch Won’t Frustrate Elections

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it will provide it with the money needed to meet emergency needs during the General Election.

The guarantee was made on Tuesday when INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu visited the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele in his office in Abuja.

Professor Yakubu told Emefiele that the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes could affect the vote.

This is because INEC pays some vendors with cash for critical and emergency services on election day.

Professor Yakubu said this could be hampered by the scarcity of new notes and the weekly withdrawal limit of N5 million.

He solicited the CBN’s support to address the concern.

“The Nigerian election is a huge and complex one. It requires the engagement of critical services and in line with the provisions of the exchange laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to their accounts,” Professor Yakubu said.

‘’However, there are crucial areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately enumerated, either partially or in full because services are rendered.

“In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. Some of the critical service providers are unbanked.”

Mr. Emefiele promised INEC that the apex bank would do everything possible to support the 2023 election.

This issue of payment and logistics for people who are going to be transporting election materials, even to visit wards; the assurance I give to you is that because we regarded the INEC project as a topmost or urgent national assignment, it cannot fail and the central bank would not allow itself either to be used or itself to be seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of that election,” he pledged.

He also reminded Professor Yakubu of how supportive the CBN has been.

‘’I know that just a few months ago, I visited your office and you raised the issue of how foreign exchange can be procured for you to import your BVAS and other election materials that need to be imported.

And I give you my word that foreign exchange will be provided for that purpose.

 “I stand here or I sit here to confirm that today, not $1 is owed. All the dollars that are needed to import those items have been provided and those items have been imported,” Emefiele added.

The CBN and INEC have a close working relationship.

The electoral commission banks its money with the CBN.

The apex bank also stores INEC’s election materials and transports them to the commission’s designated locations.


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