By Angeleen Nkwocha
To ensure the smooth conduct of 2019 general elections, the leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) have reviewed the report of the joint committee they set up early this year on electronic transmission and collation of results of the polls.
NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who spoke at the meeting attended by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Executive Commissioner Technical Services (EC-TS) of the NCC, Mr. Ubale Maska, national commissioners of the electoral body and top officials of both agencies, described it as a step toward entrenching free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
Dambatta said: “Remember this joint committee was set up seven months ago. They’ve worked hard, and the whole idea was to produce a document on the basis of which elections can be conducted in a manner that’s conducive, credible, and of course, transparent. This can only be done by leveraging the power of Information Communications Technology (ICT). So this is to bring to bear global best practices in the way and manner elections are being conducted all over the world.”
Earlier, Yakubu expressed his delight with the way the Danbatta-led NCC picked up the gauntlet thrown by the INEC as well as the efforts of the joint committee of the two organizations.
“When we started we were clear in our minds that we must challenge every national institution to contribute towards free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria. We are happy that the NCC has risen to this challenge.
“And we look forward to implementing these recommendations. If there are other areas we need your collaborations we hope you will remain open to us. But we are very happy that one major national institution has been challenged and has risen to it,” he said.
In January this year, the NCC and INEC, in a deal acclaimed to have the potential of playing a major role in the outcome of future elections in the country reached an agreement on the electronic transmission of results in the 2019 general elections.