Independent National Electoral Commission -INEC says the Continuous Voter Registration -CVR exercise will commence in the first quarter of 2021 ahead of the 2023 general election which will cost N1billion.

The Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu made this known during budget defence session with the Senate Committee on INEC.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu who was in support of diaspora voting called on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate diaspora and early voting.

According to him, the commission is also seeking approval of the Senate to spend N5.2 billion from the special INEC fund to make up for the shortfall in 2020 budget due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking, Chief Press Secretary to the commission said the virus was still very much in communities and CVR was a national exercise that requires mobilisation of equipment, materials, and personnel.

INEC had earlier in October said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the voter registration exercise.