From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has attributed the reduction of crowd at various registration centres across the country to effective deployment of technology in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
Commission’s Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the claims on the sideline while conducting visiting delegation of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Liberia, led by Davidetta Browne Lansanah to the registration centres in Abuja on Friday.
He emphasised that the efficient and stress free exercise witnessed in most registration centres was as a result of the lapses noticed during the CVR conducted in 2017 and 2018.
Speaking, he said: “In addition to the briefing in our office on Thursday, we felt we could bring the delegation to our registration centre in the FCT to actually see how voters are registered.
“My advice to Nigerians is that it has been so far so good. Many of the pre-registrants have come on appointment to complete their registration while many have also come to register physically because of that option in addition to the online pre-registration.
“The good thing is that you don’t see the kind of crowd that we use to see during the 2017 and 2018 when we conducted a Continuous Voter Registration exercise for over a period of 16 months.
“We learnt from the experience of that exercise and that is why we introduced more technology and as you can see that the queue has disappeared. We are even able to serve Nigeria better.
“And we will continue to do that until June 30 next year when the exercise will come to an end to enable us compile the register ahead of the 2023 general elections,” he noted.
On the challenges so far, he said: “I will say that there has not been challenges that we cannot surmount so far. There will obviously be challenges here and there but not serious enough.”
Enumerating the takeaways of their visit to Nigeria, Chairperson of the Liberia Electoral Commission, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, said: “There are lessons we have learnt since our arrival here. We have seen that INEC has invested much in the technology in terms of making it easy for Nigerians to register without much stress and register ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“Another lesson is that the earlier you start the process the better the process. So, the continuous registration process in Nigeria will create the opportunity for a number of Nigerians to take advantage of the system,” she said.