INEC’s Expansion Of Polling Units Begins

Moses Ofodeme

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it will soon begin conversion of existing voting points to full-fledged Polling Units (PUs).

Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee said this when he spoke with the media on Wednesday, March 24, in Abuja.

He said one of the elaborate programmes INEC had mapped out leading to the 2023 general elections was expanding voter access to polling units.

Okoye said that INEC conducted the 2019 general election with over 57,000 voting points, tied to the mother voting units, due to inadequate polling units.

He said that INEC had been working towards converting those voting points into full-fledged polling units and to take them to underserved areas.

Okoye said the commission had consulted a broad spectrum of Nigerians who endorsed the proposal.

He said that in implementing the conversion process, INEC would also consulted stakeholders at the grassroots; especially at local governments and wards levels, where the exercise would take place.

He listed some of the stakeholders to include, including the media; political parties; civil society groups and organisations; professional groups; labour unions; as well as socio-cultural groups and organisations.

“We have also consulted with the National Economic Council; under the leadership of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; made up of the various state governors and they have endorsed it.

“We have also made presentation to the Federal Executive Council, which has also endorsed what we intend to do.

“So, we have almost concluded with the consultations. The moment we are done with the consultation in the next weeks or so, we will move to implementation.

“This implementation will take place at the level of the local government areas and states levels; because that is where this conversion will take place.

“So at the local government areas and at the state levels, we will also consult with key stakeholders in those areas; in relation to how many of the voting points will become polling units; those that will be moved, and where they will be moved to.

“So we are using our Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory to produce the map of all the local government areas in Nigeria; based on where the polling units are located.

“Where the voting points are located; and where we have underserved and unserved areas; where we have either schools or public facilities; where we can locate some of these voting point that will be converted to polling units,” he said.

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