The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will carry out next week, Saturday, February 5, a voter accreditation simulation in 436 voting centers throughout the country.
The exercise is to test INEC’s readiness for nationwide deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines and other logistics for the February/March general elections.
The commission has designated for the exercise 12 polling stations in each state of the federation and four in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the equality of the 109 senatorial districts of the country.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, revealed this at a meeting with the Resident Election Commissioners of the States in Abuja on Friday, to put the finishing touches on the referee’s preparations for the upcoming elections.
Yakubu said that a full list of voting units, including their names and code numbers, as well as their distribution by state, senatorial district, local government and registration area (Ward) will be uploaded to the INEC website shortly.
He called on registered voters in the affected voting units to show up on the scheduled date with their Permanent Voter Credentials (PVC) for the exercise drill.
“Doing so will help reassure the public about the robustness of our system and strengthen our processes ahead of the General Election.
“Civil society organizations, the media and the general public are welcome to observe the process. At the end of the exercise, the 436 BVAS machines involved will be reconfigured before they are deployed for the general election,” Yakubu said.
The president said the meeting will consider additional measures to ensure that all citizens have ample opportunities to collect their PVCs before the general election after examining the reports from the states.
He assured Nigerians that the commission will always be responsive to the needs of the electorate, noting that saying PVC
Collection is one of the few issues that will be addressed in preparation for the elections.
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Yakubu said: “The commission is encouraged by the determination of registered voters across the country to collect their PVCs and the actual level of collection so far.
“For example, in Lagos State, which has the highest number of registered voters in the country, the Commission handed out 940,200 PVCs from the recent voter registration exercise (June 2021 to July 2022) for both new registrants and applications. card transfer and replacement. . As of yesterday, Thursday, January 26, 2023, 839,720 PVCs have been collected, representing 89.3% of the total number.”
He reported that the transfer of materials for the election to various locations nationwide has been completed and the training of officials will soon begin.
Yakubu said airlift and delivery of sensitive materials to states in the federation have gone a long way, adding that ongoing consultations with interested parties will be intensified.
“The accreditation of national and international observers and the media is being finalized. Critical service providers in the area of transportation have reaffirmed their commitment to efficient logistics for the movement of materials and personnel to various locations, while security agencies have reaffirmed their willingness to choose.
“As you know, the Commission has received the BVAS machines for the election. We have also diligently tested each machine at our offices across the country to ensure functionality.
“The next step is to conduct field tests across the country involving real voters. For this reason, and in preparation for nationwide rollout, the commission is conducting a voter accreditation drill similar to what was done ahead of the recent gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states,” the president said.