…Creates new online registration portal
From Atiku Sarki, Abuja
Ahead of the year 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced new dates for recommencement of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise nationwide.
The initiative is intended to help the commission make adequate preparation for the 2023 general elections.
The commission announced June 28 this year as the date to commence the exercise in the country. The chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the announcement while briefing newsmen yesterday in Abuja on the exercise.
He said between May 11 and 15, this year, there would be an expansion of voters’ cards to pulling units, building and testing of online registration portal. He added that between May 31 and June 14, of the year, it would be the arrival of the new generation of registration devices with the recruitment and training of voters enrolment staff, while on June 28, 2021, it would be a period to restart the CVR.
According to him, effective from Monday, June 28, 2021, the CVR exercise will commence nationwide and be carried out continuously for over a year until the thirdgeneration of 2022.
He said the emphasis would initially be on Anambra State where more centres would be established in view of the governorship election already scheduled for November 6, this year. In order to complete preparations for the election, he said, the CVR exercise in the state would be temporarily suspended in August 2021 to enable the commission to clean up the data for the state and print the PVCs for registrants.
He further explained more details on the CVR exercise, which he said would be stress- free for registrants. In doing so, he said they would fully consent stakeholders, saying that the first series of these consultations would take place after Easter break.
The INEC chairman, while calling on all intending registrants, especially those who have reached the ages of 18 recently to come out and register from Monday, June, 2021, also called on those who have lost their PVCs or whose PVCs have defaced or damaged as well as those who wish to correct their information such as names, dates of birth among others shall also come out for the exercise. Similarly, the INEC boss has said that the outfit is building a new online registration portal that would enable new registrants to commence registration online and subsequently complete the capture of their biometric date at designated registration centres.
The chairman said the commission’s determination is to expand voter access to polling units, recalling that recently the commission embarked on a nationwide engagement with Nigerians in which they raised the fundamental issue of declining voter’s access to polling units across the country.
Prof. Yakubu noted that the existing polling units are inadequate and inaccessible to voters, especially persons with disabilities (PWDs) as well not conducive in implementing the commission’s election regulations. According to him, the existing polling units were initially designed to cater 50 million voters but presently they serve over 84 million voters.
Prof. Yakubu explained that the commission has commenced a far-reaching programme of converting and voting point settlements into full-fledged polling units and relocating poorly situated polling units to better locations. He said: “What the commission need is more time to complete this exercise so that the new polling units will be available for registrants to choose during the CVR exercise.