The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Monday in Abuja that it would deploy 5,346 personnel to 2,673 registration centres for Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) resuming nationwide on June 28.

Its chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at the presentation of INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) and the online registration portal for the exercise at a meeting he held with media executives.

IVED is an Android tablet to be used in place of the existing Data Capturing Machine used for CVR in previous exercises.

Mr Yakubu said before now INEC had 1,446 registration centres where it registered 14. 2 million voters between 2017 and 2018.

“Learning from the experience of what happened, we have now almost doubled the number of those centres.

“Our hope is that unlike 14.2 million we registered in the previous exercise, we are targeting a minimum of 20 million registrants this time. It will take the number of registered voters to about 100 million,’’ Mr Yakubu said.

He said that the majority of the 5,346 personnel to be deployed would be INEC officials, while ad-hoc staff would be used where the Commission lacked the required number of personnel.

He said the Commission was working with ‘stakeholders’ for the security of personnel and equipment to be deployed.

Mr Yakubu disclosed that the design for both the online portal and IVED were done by INEC engineers, taking into consideration Nigeria’s peculiarity, including weather, for its durability.

He said registrants would be able to know where machines for registration are located via the portal.

He also noted that the Commission was working on ensuring that Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for internally-displaced persons were reproduced for them so as not to be disenfranchised, adding that many would have lost their cards while under siege.

Mr Yakubu also said PVCs for newly-registered voters would be produced on quarterly basis after the registration, noting that the list of the registrants would be displayed at the registration units for claims and objections.

Presenting the online portal and IVED, INEC’s Director of ICT, Chidi Nwafor, said the portal was designed to serve various needs of eligible Nigerians for the registration.

These, according to Mr Nwafor, include new registration, review of registration, and review of personal details or voting centres, PVCs replacement or collection.

“As a new voter, you can pre-register online, or as a registered voter, you can revalidate your voter registration, request to update your information or transfer your voter registration to another polling unit,” he said.

He said that registrants could register their details online before going to the nearest registration centre selected by them for photographs and fingerprints to complete the exercise.

Mr Nwafor said the portal was designed in a way that once an intending voter completed the online registration, an appointment for physical registration would be generated by the portal for the registrant.

He added that any registrant who could not meet up with the appointed date and time could reschedule the appointment via the same portal.

He said the portal also made provision for people to contact the Commission in the event of challenges during online registration.

He noted that a registrant had 14 days to complete the online pre-registration and a year to complete the whole process.

He advised registered voters to make use of the portal to identify polling units or centres nearest to them.

Mr Nwafor also assured that the Commission was putting adequate security in place to protect the device and the portal against hacks or cybercrime.

He also said that concerns about underage voter registration would be taken care of as those that registered online would still visit the registration centre before the process could be completed.

The media executives in a communiqué issued after the meeting suggested that the CVR be devolved to INEC LGA Council offices based on thorough appraisal of security situations and related factors.

They also recommended that the CVR be gradually devolved to other designated registration centres nationwide after assessments of security situations and other factors relating to safety of personnel and materials.

They tasked relevant stakeholders, especially political parties, traditional institutions, religious leaders and Civil Society Organisations to mobilise all eligible registrants to participate in the CVR.

(NAN)

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