INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu (left) and the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, when the former and National Commissoners visited the latter at the NNPCL headquarters in Abuja today, to seek ways to guarantee adequate supply of petroleum products for the Commission’s and hired vehicles and boats to be deployed throughout the country for the 2023 General Election.
Unsure of early resolution of the current petrol crisis and given the timing of the general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has visited the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, seeking for special concessions and arrangements to lift product to fuel over 100,000 cars and marine boats deployed for the poll.
Making the demand at the meeting with the NNPC, Chairman of the INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu, said, “As you are aware, Nigerians will go to the polls in a little over three weeks in what will be our 7th consecutive General Election since the restoration of democracy in 1999.
“The election will hold in two phases. The national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) will hold on Saturday 25th February 2023 to be followed two weeks later by State elections (Governorship and States Houses of Assembly) on Saturday 11th March 2023.”
Yakubu, reminded the NNPCL, that the Nigerian election is huge and complex and is the biggest logistical operation that Nigeria undertakes every four years.
The Chairman revealed that about 93,469,008 registered voters are expected to elect a President, 28 State Governors and 1,462 legislators (109 Senators, 360 members of House of Representatives and 993 members of State Houses of Assembly).
Therefore he said the Commission is mobilising about 100,000 vehicles and 4,000 boats for the deployment of personnel and materials to 176,846 polling units spread across 8,809 Registration Areas (or electoral Wards) in 774 Local Government Areas nationwide.
He recalled that earlier this month the Commission had a meeting with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), as well as the Marine Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to mobilise the vehicles and boats needed for the massive land and riverine movement of men and materials for the election as the Commission is determined to overcome the perennial challenge of late commencement of polls on grounds of logistics.
However, he noted that this objective cannot be fully accomplished without the guaranteed supply of petroleum products to facilitate the movement of vehicles and boats.
“Hence, in our effort to mobilise every national institution to give Nigerians a pleasant experience on Election Day, the Commission believes that the NNPC, as our national oil company, is one of the critical institutions that can facilitate the attainment of our objective. “We are aware of the efforts of the NNPC to ease the current situation in earnest. At the same time, we would like to appeal to you to consider the following proposals:
“The use of the NNPC land and floating mega stations nationwide to service our election duty vehicles and boats. We will bear the cost of the products. By doing so, there will be guaranteed supply for elections;”
The INEC asked for a special arrangement with other marketers in locations where the NNPC may not have dedicated stations; and consider other options to support our seamless operations on Election Day.