The Chairman of, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu on Monday, revealed that all sensitive and non-sensitive materials used for the 2023 general election were printed in Nigeria.
Prof. Yakubu revealed this while speaking during the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with the Civil Society Organisations on the ongoing review of the 2023 general election held in Abuja, on Monday, July 24, 2023.
“I am glad to report that the printing of all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the 2023 general elections was entirely done in Nigeria.
“This is the first time in 44 years since the transition to democratic rule in 1979 that this great step has been taken and achieved.
“This was despite the record number of 93.4 million registered voters and over 500 million ballot papers, result sheets and other documents for the five categories of the main elections and supplementary polls.
“For this reason, the 2023 general election was held as scheduled for the first time in the last four electoral cycles without a postponement arising from the non-arrival of materials,’’ the INEC boss said.
He however added that other recorded positive developments in the election, including the repeal and re-enactment of the Electoral Act 2010 into the Electoral Act 2022, which allowed INEC to get prepared on time.
Prof. Yakubu further stated that the new act provides 180 days for political parties to conclude their primaries and submit the names of candidates and political parties for the elections.
According to him, it was also one of the things which helped the electoral umpire, to commence the process of producing the election materials in good time.
“Furthermore, we were also able to expand voter access to polling units for the first time since the initial delimitation exercise in 1996.
“Similarly, we introduced many technology-based innovations, including the physical registration and online pre-registration of voters using the INEC Voter Enrollment Device (IVED), the various portals for the nomination of candidates, party agents and the accreditation of observers and the media.
“We also collected and published data on the distribution of voters not only by age and occupation but also by disability.
“Within the limits of available resources, we also tried to provide such inclusivity materials as braille jackets and magnifying glasses for some categories of voters with disabilities,’’ he said.
However, he expressed regret that while voter accreditation using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System was very successful, the uploading of results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal, especially for the presidential election, encountered a glitch, noting that this was explained in the commission’s statement, released on February 26, 2023, adding that INEC is aware that the matter is currently the subject of litigation; hence, the commission would reserve its comments at the moment.
“Nevertheless, the performance of the technology deployed for the election is part of the ongoing review of the 2023 general election.
“It will form an integral part of the comprehensive report that will serve as a basis for further engagement with stakeholders focusing on specific actions necessary for the improvement of future elections and electoral activities in Nigeria,’’ he said.