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Nigeria's INEC Says It Needs Money - 2003-01-29

The head of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, is warning that poor funding of the commission could endanger April’s general elections. He says the commission needs 120 million US dollars to conduct the elections smoothly.

Analysts say that’s about ten times more than was provided for INEC in this year’s federal budget. The money, he says, is needed to pay INEC officials, fund the political parties and purchase necessary equipment. The plea for more money was made before the Nigerian Senate.

At the same time, INEC is being criticized by some for importing the ballot boxes to be used in the general elections. Critics say constructing them at home would have given work to Nigeria’s foundries.

English to Africa reporter Paul Okolo has details from Lagos. Click above links to download or listen.