My regrets as INEC chairman - Jega

By The Citizen
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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday reviewed his tenure as the chairman of the electoral body, saying his only regret was his inability to create separate salary structure for those working with the commission.

Jega spoke in Abuja during a retreat organised for the electoral officers of the commission where the 2015 elections were reviewed.

The retreat was titled '2015 general elections: lessons and way forward.'

Jega also declared that the staff of the commission were subjected to difficult circumstances during the course of the 2015 elections.

He said apart from the special salary issue, the commission, under his leadership, performed well.

But he regretted that despite the undertaking he said he made when he assumed office on the need to create special salary structure for the members of staff of the commission, he was unable to accomplish that up till now.

He said, 'I must say that we have been mindful of the need  to keep on motivating the staff to keep on improving condition of service and condition of work. And to keep on improving the welfare of the staff.

'We have done our best as a commission under very difficult circumstances and my major regret, as I have always acknowledged, is that a major undertaking we made when we first came in as a commission, which is to have a separate salary structure for the staffs of the commission, we have not been able to get.

'And obviously this is one area where we still have to do a lot of work and put in a lot of effort as we move towards the future and to improve.

'But apart from that, I don't think we have done badly in terms of promoting the welfare and the well-being of the staff.

'We have ensured that salaries  were paid regularly, we have ensured that there are a lot of opportunity for self improvement through the organisation of seminar and workshop with partners.'

He said he was aware that there was no way the commission could satisfy everyone, saying that some were not happy when the commission moved some of its members of staff to different departments.

He said, 'Again as I said, we could not have satisfied the expectations of everybody, we believe that we have done our best.

'I must say that not all of you are happy with perhaps with some of the measures that we have introduced as a commission.

'The restructuring  and reorganisation certainly could not have satisfied everybody because it required trimming down the size of the commission and also redefining schedule of responsibilities, putting square pegs in square holes as we called it at that time.'

Inspite of all, he said he was of the opinion that the outcome of the restructuring and reorganisation had been beneficial to the commission. Punch