Extend voter registration, Reps urge INEC

House of Reps

The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the June 30, 2022 deadline for voter registration by 60 days, so as to enable more eligible Nigerians to register, get their Permanent Voter Cards and participate in the 2023 general elections.

The House mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to engage with INEC to “examine and proffer solutions to the shortage of registration machines and manpower.”

The engagement is to also see to the deployment of additional 30 voter registration machines in each of the 774 local areas, train and deploy ad hoc staff to improve the shortage of manpower at registration centres and provide security for ad hoc staff members.

The committee is to report back in two weeks for further legislative action.

A member of the House, Benjamin Kalu, had at the plenary on Wednesday moved a motion titled, ‘Need for INEC to extend the deadline of continuous voters’ registration, deploy additional staff and voters registration machines across the country.’

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Kalu, in the motion, noted that the ongoing registration by INEC is scheduled to end on June 30, ahead of the elections.

The lawmaker recalled that in April 2022, INEC declared that about 42 per cent of the voter registration which was recorded since the commencement of CVR on June 28, 2021 was invalid with about 20 million unclaimed PVCs.

He said, “The House is cognisant of the large numbers of unregistered eligible voters willing to be registered, as evidenced by crowds seen at various registration centres, resulting in congestion.

“The House is concerned by reports of shortages of voter registration machines, inadequate manpower and personnel at registration centres, which may lead to frustrations among prospective registrants and in some cases, unrest at some registration centres.

“The House is also aware of calls from concerned citizens and civil societies urging INEC to extend the registration deadline to accommodate eligible voters desiring to register for their PVCs.”

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