Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has assured that ballot papers in the 2019 election will be printed in Nigeria; just as he recalled that over seven million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have not been collected from the 2015 general elections.
The first priority of INEC has been to patronise indigenous printers.
“Since the 2015 general elections INEC has conducted elections in 180 constituencies and in none of these constituencies were the sensitive and non-sensitive materials printed out of the country.
“As a matter of course, for sometimes now the commission does not engage foreign printers directly. We engage Nigerian printers who may have partnership with printers outside the country.
“So, our priority is to patronise Nigeria printers and Nigerian service providers; that policy remains unchanged.
“We have been trying our best but, so far, only a little over 500,000 cards have been collected nationwide. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that the cards are collected; ahead of the next general elections,” he said, and added that the Commission is emphasising on collection than distribution.
“We are emphasising on collection because we want the true owners of the cards to collect them rather than by proxy with the possibility that the cards may end up in wrong hands.
“We’ve always given figures of uncollected PVCs, on a state by state basis and Lagos has the highest figure of 1.4 million uncollected PVCs…”
He also said INEC is working with security agencies to ensure peaceful exercises in 2019.