Nigerians were racing against time on Wednesday as the final deadline for collecting their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) approached ahead of the presidential and national assembly elections.

The PVC acts as identification to vote in the next general elections.

Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Election Commission, opened a window in December for the last phase of card collection before the election.

INEC said there was a surge of young Nigerians seeking to register for their voter cards ahead of the election.

He also issued a statement saying that this round of PVC collections would end on January 22 and that eligible voters without their cards would not be able to vote in the next ballot.

In December, election officials expressed concern about the millions of uncollected ballot cards across the country.

INEC had reported that more than six million Nigerians had yet to receive their cards.

Some Nigerians have criticized INEC for how it has handled the distribution of the cards.

Nigerian lawyer Damilola Adelowo said she received an email informing her that her card was ready to be withdrawn, but after two hours of waiting she was told it was “skipped”.

Presidential and national assembly elections in Africa’s most populous country are scheduled for February 25.

Elections for governor and state assembly are scheduled for March 11.