…As Commission records 542, 576 in online registration exercise
By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has designated about 811 locations nationwide for the commencement of its physical Continuous Voter Registration exercise, which had is tentatively billed to commence on July 19
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu made the disclosure in a message he presented during a meeting with State Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Tuesday in Abuja
Professor Yakubu, who however noted that the commission will meet on Thursday to take a final decision of the proposed commencement date for the physical CVR, disclosed that INEC’s target is to spread the conduct of the physical CVR exercise to 2, 673centres in the 774 Local adding that it intends to deploy 5,346 officials for in-person registration.
“However, after consultation with stakeholders, the Commission is proceeding systematically as we review the security situation across the country. We agreed with stakeholders, including the security agencies, to start from our State and Local Government offices. This means an initial 811 locations nationwide made up of 37 State and FCT offices and 774 Local Government Areas.
” We have configured enough machines and commenced deployment nationwide for further training of officials in readiness for the commencement of the physical registration.
The Commission also disclosed that so far, the online version of the CVR exercise which commenced on 28th June 2021 has recorded a total number of 542,576 Nigerians who have registered, adding also that the exercise will continue for the next one year.
“I am glad to report that the Commission has approved the detailed timetable and schedule of activities for the CVR exercise, including the display of the register of new voters for claims and objections by citizens at various stages of the process as required by law.
“The CVR exercise will be held over a period of about 13 months as follows:The list of the 811 centres for the take-off of the physical registration nationwide, including their locations and dedicated telephone numbers for each State Office nationwide in case of enquiry by citizens, has been uploaded on our website and social media platforms.
“The Commission is not unaware that we have scheduled the commencement of the physical registration for Monday 19th July 2021. Already there are indications that this date or immediately thereafter may be public holidays. We are also aware that some of the online registrants have scheduled their appointments for the completion for their registrations on the dates that are likely to be public holidays. The Commission will meet on Thursday this week to review the situation and provide clarity on the matter.” Yakubu noted
He stated further, “The Commission is pleased with the progress made so far. At the beginning, we gave Nigerians daily update on the progress of the exercise. We also promised to make available more detailed weekly updates which we started from Monday last week. As at 7am yesterday, Monday 12th July 2021, exactly two weeks since the exercise began, a total of 542,576 Nigerians have completed the online pre-registration. Out of this figure, 456,909 are fresh registrants while 85,667 have applied for voter transfer, replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), update of voter information record etc.”
While breaking down the category of registrants on the online platform, the INEC Chairman disclosed, “Out of 542,576 online registrants so far, 356,777 (or 66%) are young people between the ages of 18 and 34 years. This is followed by 134,719 middle aged registrants who fall between 35 and 49 years.
The third category is elderly persons aged between 50 and 69 years of which 44,896 Nigerians have registered. Interestingly, some 6,184 senior citizens (aged 70 years and above) have taken advantage of the new online opportunity to register.
“On occupational distribution of registrants, 156,446 are students; 38,217 artisans; 24,421 farmers and fishermen; 150,145 businessmen and traders; 35,831 employed as civil and public servants and 8,334 housewives. The remaining 129,182 registrants did not specify their occupations. On gender, 321,781 are male while 220,795 are female.
“In our effort to serve all Nigerians better, the Commission has requested registrants to indicate their disability (if any). This will enable us to optimally and efficiently deploy assistive voting devices such as Braille ballot guide and magnifying glasses for persons with special needs at polling units on election day. So far, we have data for 6,558 registrants who have clearly indicated their type of disability.
“The Commission is not unaware that we have scheduled the commencement of the physical registration for Monday 19th July 2021. Already there are indications that this date or immediately thereafter may be public holidays. We are also aware that some of the online registrants have scheduled their appointments for the completion for their registrations on the dates that are likely to be public holidays. The Commission will meet on Thursday this week to review the situation and provide clarity on the matter.
“I would like to reassure Nigerians that the Commission will continue to spare no effort in deepening the use of technology to ensure electoral transparency and credibility. The voters register is at the heart of any credible election. This makes this meeting with our Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) crucial. We are working hard to ensure that just as we had a smooth take-off of the online pre-registration, the commencement of the physical registration will similarly be hitch-free.”