INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu says the new technology initiated into the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has fixed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to help provide on its mandate.
The chairman made this statement on Friday when he ushered a delegation of the National Elections Commission of Liberia to the CVR physical registration centre at FCT headquarters’ INEC office.
Yakubu stated that described in relation to ordeals from previous CVR exercises, the commission had been able to abolish the crowd at CVR centres with the new technology.
“So far so good, because quite a number of the pre-registrants have come on appointment to complete their registration.
“A number have also come to register physically because that is an option of physical registration, in addition to the completion of the online registration. “So far, you don’t see the kind of crowd that we used to see during registration.
“Recall that between 2017 and 2018, we conducted a CVR over a period of 16 months and we learned from the experience of that exercise. That is why we now introduced more technology into the process.
“As you can see the queue has disappeared and we are able to serve Nigerians better for that reason,” he said.
Yakubu explained that INEC would continue to do so until the end of the exercise on June 30, 2022, when it would suspend the process to enable the commission to compile the voter’s register, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu said the essence of the tour was to provide field experience to the NEC-Liberia delegation, who was in Nigeria to understudy INEC’s voter registration system.
“So, in addition to the briefing in the office yesterday, we thought we could bring her to one of our offices in Abuja, to actually see how voters are registered,” he said.
The Chairperson of, National Elections Commission of Liberia, Davidetta Lansanah, applauded the leadership of INEC for sharing Nigeria’s experience with them.
She said that the experience acquired during the study excursion would enable Liberia in adopting the CVR in their country.
“There are lessons that have been learned since we have been on this tour. We have seen that the electoral commission of Nigeria has invested so much in technology, in terms of the availability of the technology to Nigerians.
“This makes it important for Nigerians to come out to register ahead of the 2023 general elections in the country.
“Another lesson learned is that the earlier you start, the better the process.
“So, the continuous registration here in Nigeria, I think creates the opportunity for an increase in the number of Nigerians taking advantage of the system,” Lansanah said.
She put in that the Liberian team was gladdened to be in Nigeria for the study tour because there was so much to learn.
“I will say that while we have similarities, there are some differences with how we are proceeding. Your country is a great one.
“We know that a lot of Nigerians are upbeat with respect to the continuous voter registration that is now ongoing, and I can only hope that Nigerians will take advantage of this online registration process,” she said.
Lansanah said the online pre-registration would not only help to eradicate time wasted on registration, it would also assist INEC to have accurate data for elections.
INEC’s Director of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Mr Chidi Nwafor, described the registration process and the deployed technology to the visiting team, saying that the process had so far been productive and efficient.
A registrant, Dr. Sadiq Abdullahi, who just completed his registration process at the visiting time, characterized the process as fast and efficient.
Abdullahi complimented INEC for the new procedure, saying “I first registered online and when I came here I was able to complete my registration within 15 minutes”.