The Independent National Electoral Commission said it is set to create additional polling units across the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu started this when he received Geographic Information System (GIS) support equipment donated by the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja
At a brief ceremony, INEC Chairman appreciated the support of the development partners and acknowledged that the equipment will assist the Commission in area of delimitation of constituencies which is one of the constitutional responsibilities of INEC.
He said: “Your assistance will be great in addition to what we have been trying to do. Already, the Commission is considering the possibility of creating additional polling units before the 2023 general elections”.
“It (Nigeria) is a huge country and the population is rising and each time myself and the Commissioners travel around the country and we see new settlements emerging, we wonder how would these new settlements be served by polling units so that Nigerians don’t have to travel long distances in order to vote on election day”
Professor Yakubu said “at the moment we have 119,973 polling units, we also have over 57,000 voting points making a total of over 180,000 polling units and voting points, yet if you look at some of the satellite images and you place dots on spots where there are polling units in relation to the vast area where we have no polling units, we are still under served even with the initiative of the Commission in operating voting points and voting point settlements, so GIS in our operation with the equipment that we have will be a great facilitator in the efforts of the Commission in that respect” .
The INEC Chairman further added that the Commission was already collaborating with the National Population Commission (NPC) in order to achieve the objective of delimiting Constituencies and creating new polling units that would cater for the voting needs of Nigeria’s increasing population.
The Programme Coordinator of ECES, Ms Maria Mauro commended the Commission’s continued efforts to improve the electoral system. She said ECES would continue to assist the Commission in a variety of ways to achieve its goal.