A Civil Society Organisation, in collaboration with INEC, on Tuesday launched Continuous Voter Registration (CRV) and Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) collection drive in 15 states.
Executive Director NESSACTION, Mr Eniola Cole, said at the launch of the project on Tuesday in Abuja that the exercise was also in collaboration with Yiaga Africa and UNDP.
Cole said the measure was taken because the group discovered that there was low registration of CVR and collection of PVC according to INEC’s data released.
He the situation prompted the decision to tackle the challenge ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
She said that the CVR and PVC Collection Drive (CPCD) project sought to render support to INEC on inclusivity safeguards campaign in the CVR and PVC collection process .
She added that it would also strengthen INEC’s civic and voter education awareness campaigns and push for increased voter turnout at the 2023 elections.
“To do this we have developed resources with support from Yiaga Africa and UNDP.
“This is to train 45 INEC registration area officers and community mobilisation officers in part of FCT and Nassarawa states on the CPCD project implementation strategies and the offline registration process .
“We will also be making logistical provisions through a bus transportation scheme in each LGA of Nasarawa and AMAC and Kwali Area councils, FCT.
“These community buses will be deployed to areas of need identified by INEC officials to get those with uncollected PVCs to INEC offices for collection of their PVCs along with those with incomplete registration process.”
Cole said that the bus scheme was being deployed in recognition of the current economic trends to encourage those in difficult terrains to take advantage and go to the LGA offices to collect or register their PVC.
She added that NESSACTION deployed 150,000 voter education materials for community outreaches and engagements at the grassroots, to raise awareness on the CVR and PVC exercise.
She said this was to also get people to know their mobilisation officers and capture data on incomplete registration while addressing issues they faced through the link bit.ly/CVRPVCDRIVE.
In his remarks, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),Yahaya Bello commended NESSACTION for the initiative .
Bello said that the commission had a 30- day period to end the CVR process.
“Our hands are already starting to get very full right now, in front of the FCT office, there are more than 300 people who are struggling to go in and get registered.
“This initiative by NESSACTION could not have come at a better time than now any time.
“We have a very able partner so this will reduce our own burden and ensure that people are very much aware of the CVR programme and also participate.”
Bello urged Nigerians to take advantage of the initiative to get registered for CVR and collect their PVCs as well to participate in the election.
Mr Mohammed Haruna, INEC’s National Commissioner in Charge of Nasarawa, FCT, Kaduna and Plateau, said that the NESSACTION’s initiative was very much needed in times like this .
Haruna said that the initiative would make PVC collection very high and urged Nigerians not to wait till last minute rush to collect it .
He called on NESSACTION to also help INEC to decongest the over crowded polling units by encouraging voters to change their polling units to the new units created by the Commission.
He said this would reduce zero votes in those polling units as recorded during the just concluded FCT Area Council Elections.
Mr Michael Agada , Senior Programme Officer, Yiaga Africa, said the collaboration with NESSACTION was in line with the organisation’s effort to increase the number of registered voters by 60 per cent.
Agada said that the #60percentofus project sought to change the mindset of voters that their votes mattered and that if 60 per cent of voters registered to vote, then Nigeria would attain 60 per cent turnout in the 2023 elections .(NAN)