The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the introduction of technology enhances the credibility of elections in Nigeria and that it is working with the National Assembly to introduce reforms to Nigeria’s Electoral Act.
This was disclosed by Nick Dazang, Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
On cleaning up the INEC registry for electoral purposes, Mr. Dazang said INEC cleaned up its registry to remove people not meant to be on it, to ensure a credible election. He said:
“The INEC register clean up entails removing persons that ought not be in the register. Because the basis for any credible election, is a credible register. If you don’t have a credible register, you cannot have a credible election. We have seen from 2011 to 2020, that we have tried in the commission to have credible registers.”
He disclosed that INEC introduced technologies recently, to ensure credible elections, especially in the areas of revalidation of its registers.
“We have introduced technologies to enhance this credibility, going forward. There is a need to introduce further technology to enhance the credibility of the elections that we are going to conduct in 2023. That explains why INEC intends to introduce new technology in the revalidation of register, that we have been putting in place since 2010-2011. Way forward is to introduce technology and ensure the register is credible and 2023 elections reflect this credibility and that elections are better.”
He stated that INEC would work with the National Assembly on constitutional amendments to improve the usage of technology in elections, citing recent elections were technology boosted credibility.
“Going forward, INEC wants to work with the National assembly to bring reforms, amendments to the constitution and electoral act, in such a fashion as to further deepen tech in the conduct of elections. We have seen that in the conduct of Edo and Ondo elections, and even prior to that, the introduction of technology has enhanced the credibility of these elections.”
On the INEC ACT 2020, he stated that INEC had been working on amending the act since 2007, and hoped the act got amended by first quarter 2021.
“The commission has been engaging the National Assembly since 2007, that certain amendments are visited to the constitution and electoral act with a view to adding value to the conduct of elections. We would be delighted, if we are able to see this in the first quarter of 2021 as promised by the leadership of the national Assembly.”
Nairametrics reported last month that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act Amendment Bill had passed second reading in the House of Representatives. The Electoral Bill, was sponsored by Rep. Aishatu Dukku (APC-Gombe). She remarked that the bill was necessary to fix Nigeria’s flawed electoral system.
“This amendment has become necessary because of the flaws observed in our electoral system. It’s no longer news that our electoral experiences since 1999 show a strong correlation between an efficient and effective electoral legal framework and the conduct of free, fair, and credible elections,” she said.