Mahmud Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, informed the Senate that the budget for the 2019 general election was not ready yet.
Yakubu, who stated this while defending the 2018 budget estimates of the Commission before the Senate Committee on INEC, however, pointed out that the budgetary preparation for 2019 polls was in the offing but the final figures had not been arrived at.
This is as he disclosed that a case of high mortality rate occurred among staffs of the electoral body, noting that 85 out of the 16,000 workforce of the Commission died last year.
Yakubu, who made the revelation in response to question from members of the Committee led by Senator Suleiman Nazif, on why budgetary provisions were made for sick bay at the headquarters of the electoral body in Abuja, said that some of the deaths were recorded within the premises of the Commission as a result of heart attack triggered by high blood pressure.
“Due to the nature of our work, our staff work under intense pressure to the point that many of them have no time for routine medical check-up, which often lead to high blood pressure and heart attack on some of them while on duty either here in Abuja or at our state offices,” the INEC boss said.
“In fact, last year alone, preponderance of the 85 staffers that we lost died through such circumstances hours or few days after being rushed to hospitals.
This is the reason why we decided to have sick bays in our offices now for preventive measures”. He added that aside budgetary provisions being made for establishment of sick bays in INEC offices, a total of N9 billion had also been set aside in the 2018 budget estimates of the Commission for hazard and other allowances for field workers.