INEC writes National Assembly, demands new salary structure

By The Citizen
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The Independent National Electoral Commission has written to the National Assembly, demanding a new and separate salary structure for its staff before the 2015 general elections.

The commission however said there might be some obstacles to the agitation because many other organisations would also be making their legitimate demands from government.

A National Commissioner in INEC and Chairman, Election Monitoring and Observation, Dr. Ismael Igbani, stated this on Thursday in Abuja during the inauguration of the 2015 forum for Election Observers, convened by the National Coordinator of Election Monitor, Mr. Abiodun Ajilola.

At the event, Civil Society Organisations, represented by the Chairman of Partners for Electoral Reforms, Mr. Ezenwa Nwangwu, called on INEC to moderate the expectations of the electorate especially its cash phrase that the country would have the best election in 2015.

While expressing concern over logistics challenges in INEC, Igbani said the commission was doing everything possible to make sure that the issues were resolved amicably.

He said, 'We are working on a separate salary structure for INEC staff. But you know what it entails to work out a salary structure in a single government unit. The commission is working on the salary structure and we have approached the National Assembly. But these things require some processes such as waiting for debates. We have absolute confidence in our staff and we hope to do better before the 2015 general elections.

'It is not easy because INEC is not the only commission; there are those who consider themselves also important. Other commissions will also be interested and that is the reason why it is slow. But as for our own staff, we have insurance and hazard allowance.'

According to him, the National Assembly is a bit reluctant because of the fear of pressure and demands from every other organisation.

Igbani said, 'Our salary structure is not really bad but we need to improve on it because of the nature of the job we do. There are so many things the commission does for the staff which we don't announce them. Motivation is best when it is internal.

'The transparency of the 2015 elections would be ensured by the methods we adopt and not by the character of the person. Once we have rules and regulation, we ensure that we follow them. It is also the responsibility of election observers to point out if our staff are following the rules and report it.'

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