The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday embarked on training of its ICT personnel ahead of the biometric capture of online pre-registered voters starting on July 19.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop organized for for INEC Heads of ICT nationwide was on Technological Application in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) System.
Speaking during the workshop in Lagos, INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, urged participants to make self-restraint, gender sensitivity and transparency their watchwords.
The national commissioner urged the INEC ICT heads to acquaint themselves with the operation of the backend processes and understand the legal framework that underpinned the registration processes.
Okoye said: “As Heads of Department of ICT in your state, you will no doubt play a crucial role in the deployment and management of the new technology.
“As the drivers of the online and physical registration solutions, we must master the new generation equipment deployed by the Commission for the CVR.
“All registration and revision officer must develop their capacity to handle the new CVR processes and procedure by being sensitive to the needs of registrants.
“Professionalism, good mannered conduct, self-restraint in the face of provocation, gender sensitivity and transparency must be the watch word.”
Okoye, who urged eligible Nigerians to register to vote, said that the commission was determined to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process.
He said that the application of technological innovation to the CVR process was designed to facilitate ease of registration, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimise data loss.
“We must improve with every election and with every electoral cycle, that will be our legacy and the legacy we must leave for the Nigerian people,” he added.
According to him, the commission will continue to work assiduously to reduce manual processes in our electoral process, thereby reducing incidence of manipulation, human intervention and fraud.
Okoye added that the CVR exercise, which commenced on June 28 with the online pre-registration process, had shown that about 258,000 Nigerians had opened an account to carry out various activities on the registration portal.
The INEC spokesman said that the online pre-registration exercise would reduce congestion at the state and local government offices of the commission when the biometric capturing and physical registration commences.
He added that INEC, in conjunction with critical stakeholders, would assess the security situation in the country before devolving the CVR registration centres nationwide.
In his remarks, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Outreach and Partnership Committee, urged the trainees to prepare to be trainers for a hitch free CVR biometric exercises.
Ogunmola noted that the ICT officers had huge responsibility and called for commitment to the exercise.
Earlier, Mr Sam Olumekun, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, said that ICT had made election more efficient, saying that ICT played an important role in organising elections around the world.
He said that Lagos State with 20 Local Governments and projected 20 million people, had 13, 325 polling units across 245 registration areas.
Olumekun said that the state currently had 6, 570, 291 registered voters with 18 registered political parties.
He stressed the importance of voter registration, saying it remained a prelude to free and fair elections and helped to facilitate the credibility of electoral processes by preventing multiple voting. (NAN)