INEC demands powers to determine what technology to deploy in elections

“One way of doing so is to make broad provisions of the law that will empower the commission to continue to innovate without restricting us to a specific technology such as the Smart Card Reader which could in due course become obsolete, inapplicable or irrelevant as is already the case following the recent introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the commission,” he said.

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INEC Boss, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu: The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, desires discretionary powers on the deployment of technology in Nigeria’s electoral process

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, desires discretionary powers on the deployment of technology in Nigeria’s electoral process.

Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC chairman, stated this, Thursday, at Conference Committee Joint Session, of the Senate and House of Representatives, on Electoral Act Amendment Bill in Abuja. 

The conference committee is empaneled to harmonize areas of variation in the electoral bill passed by both chambers of the National Assembly. 

Under Section 52 of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, passed by the Senate, INEC is empowered to determine the procedure for the transmission of results during the general elections. 

The version of the same Bill which was passed by the House of Representatives, gives INEC the sole power to transmit results of elections by electronic means “where and when practicable.”

The INEC boss said:  “Understandably, the issue of technology in elections has dominated recent public discussions in Nigeria. The commission appreciates the decision of the National Assembly to empower INEC to determine and deploy appropriate technology in future elections. For us in INEC, this is one of the progressive decisions by our National Assembly. 

“As you finalize on the Electoral Amendment Bill, I urge you to continue to endow the commission with the power to determine what technology to deploy in our elections at the appropriate time. 

“One way of doing so is to make broad provisions of the law that will empower the commission to continue to innovate without restricting us to a specific technology such as the Smart Card Reader which could in due course become obsolete, inapplicable or irrelevant as is already the case following the recent introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the commission,” he said.

Prof. Yakubu urged the lawmakers to expedite action for the speedy passage of the Electoral Bill, to enable the commission to test-run procedures and pilot innovations ahead of the 2023 general elections. 

2023: e-transmission of results will add great value..

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