I’ve Only One Regret As INEC Chairman, Says Jega

Attahiru JegaOutgoing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has looked back on his tenure as head of the electoral body and come to the conclusion that his only regret would be being unable to create a special salary structure for staff of the commission.

He made this known on Monday during a retreat organised for electoral officers of the commission where the 2015 elections were reviewed.

The retreat was entitled “2015 General Elections: Lessons and Way Forward”.

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

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

He said, “I must say that we have been mindful of the need to keep on motivating the staff, to keep on improving the conditions of service and conditions 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 staff 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 efforts to improve as we move towards the future.

“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 opportunities for self-improvement through the organisation of seminars and workshops with partners”.

The Professor of Political Science 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 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 the size of the commission and also redefining schedule of responsibilities, putting square pegs in square holes as we called it at that time”.

Jega, however, maintained that the outcome of the restructuring and reorganisation had been of immense benefit to the commission.