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My Regrets As INEC Chairman – Jega

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Prof. Attahiru Jega

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday June 15 reviewed his tenure as the chairman of the electoral body and the 2015 general elections.

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Jega declared that the only regret he can pinpoint as the Chairman of the commission was his inability to create separate salary structure for those working with the commission as he had promised at the beginning of his tenure.

Jega made this statement during a retreat “2015 general elections: lessons and way forward.” A summit held in Abuja, organised for the electoral officers of the commission where the 2015 elections were generally reviewed.

According to Jega, apart from the separate salary that couldn’t be put in place for the staff of the commission, INEC performed well in all other areas and deserves accolades.

He commented, however, that the staff of the INEC despite being subjected to difficult circumstances during the course of the 2015 elections enjoyed little benefits and motivation for their hardwork.

Jega mentioned that he regretted the fact that he took undertakings to create special salary structure for the members of staff of the commission, but he was unable to accomplish that up till now since he assumed office.

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.”

According to Jega, proper Staff welfare was in place and the commission ensured that salaries were paid promptly and regularly.

“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.”

Jega commented that he was aware that despite how much the commission tried and all the hard work, there was no way the commission could satisfy everyone, “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.”

Professor Jega further noted that despite all of these, he was of the opinion that the outcome of the restructuring and reorganisation had been beneficial to the commission and the nation as a whole.

He concluded that all things being equal, INEC would strive to put the little things needed in place to ensure that more success is recorded in the commission.