12 January 2021 by Kayode Oyedare.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says it is reviewing its adopted technologies for elections, with the view of introducing new ones to improve conduct of the 2023 general election.
The INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity Department VEP, Mr Nick Dazang, stated this during the on going five day workshop organised in collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy WFD on the Review of the National Voter Education Manual in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Mr Dazang said INEC began the process for electronic voting in 2004 when it introduced optic map registration forms and in 2010 introduced the use of direct data capture machines, and then expanded the use of the machines in the conduct of the 2011 election.
While explaining that the Commission was reviewing this process with a view to upgrading and improving the conduct of elections in 2023, Mr Dazang said INEC would revisit the use of card readers and likely introduce other technologies that would work seamlessly with electronic voting in future elections.
He noted that the Commission had no regrets on the technologies it had so far introduced for the conduct of elections in Nigeria as they helped in deepening the process and the transparency.
Mr Dazang said that the Commission was also reviewing its voter education to enable it to explain better the planned technologies to Nigerians.
This, according to him, include the issue of changes in technology and COVID-19, saying the commission need to change its communications process to respond to the changes.
On the amendment of the Electoral Act, the Director of Voter Education said the Commission was working seriously with two committees of the National Assembly, adding that substantial gains were being made on the amendment.
He urged staff of the Commission to always upgrade themselves on new technologies and continue to obey the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The WFD Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, expressed the foundation’s continued determination and support for INEC to deepen voter education in Nigeria, especially at the grassroots.
Mr Olorunmola commended INEC for deepening voter education and more inclusive electoral process for women and persons with disability.