By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Monday, revealed
that it is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online before completing the Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, exercise physically at designated centres nationwide.
The Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the revelation
at the second quarterly meeting with the Media executives in Abuja.
The Commission had already slated Monday 28th June 2021, for the resumption of the the CVR nationwide.
Prof Yakubu explained that this is the first time a major exercise “of this nature” is handled partially online, consistent with the Commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.
The INEC Chairman pointed out that the expansion of voters’ access to polling units prepares the ground for the discharge of another important responsibility of the Commission.
The registration of eligible Nigerians as voters, he added, is one of the immediate tasks before the Commission.
According to Yakubu, “The expansion of voters’ access to polling units prepares the ground for the discharge of another important responsibility of the Commission.
“The registration of eligible Nigerians as voters is one of the immediate tasks before the Commission.
“Consequently, in the next one week, that is Monday 28th June 2021, the Commission will resume the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) nationwide.
“In doing so, the Commission is introducing a portal to enable eligible Nigerians to commence registration as voters online before completing the exercise physically at designated centres nationwide.
“This is first time a major exercise of this nature is handled partially online consistent with the Commission’s commitment to continue to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process in Nigeria.
“Just like the expansion of voter access to Polling Units, the Commission appeals to the media for support so that this novel idea will also be successful”, he said.
The Commission, Yakubu disclosed, intends to undertake the CVR exercise over a period of at least one year.
He stressed that the success of the exercise “depends to a considerable extent on citizens’ awareness through voter education”.
Continuing, the INEC Chairman said “There will be new registrants, requests for intra-State and inter-State transfers as well as the replacement of voters’ cards as provided by law.
“Furthermore, with the relocation of voting points to underserved areas as autonomous polling units, there is need for massive publicity so that citizens are familiar with their voting locations well ahead of all forthcoming elections.
“We appeal for your partnership to achieve this goal”, he said.
In a communique issued at the end, the meeting with Media executives commended the Commission for successfully expanding voter access with the creation of additional 56,872 polling units.
The meeting noted that the creation of the additional polling units will improve voter access electoral services and facilitate increased participation of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the electoral process.
According to the communique signed by Barrister Festus Okoye on behalf of INEC and Mr Chris Isiguzo and three others for NUJ, “That the Commission’s effort at deepening the use of electoral technology by creating the on-line pre-registration portal is a welcome development.
“That the CVR exercise scheduled to take place in 2,673 designated nationwide be devolved to the INEC LGA Area Council offices based on a thorough appraisal of rhe security situation and other related factors.
“That the CVR exercise be gradually devolved to the other designated registration centres nationwide after further assessment of the security situation and other factors relating to the safety of personnel and materials.
“That the Media will support the Commission to intensify voter education, especially on the CVR exercise to ensure that all eligible voters are mobilized to register and participate fully in rhe electoral process.
“That all relevant stakeholders, especially political parties, traditional institutions, religious leaders and Civil Society Organisalions should mobilise all eligible registrants to participate in the CVR process”, it said.