The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to transmit the results of the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states electronically.
INEC Commissioner Muhammed Mustafa Lecky said the agency will employ the innovative electronic transmission of results.
He said: “ INEC has come to the conclusion that this will be done in Ekiti and Osun elections.”
Lecky spoke at a seminar organised by the Electoral Institute in Abuja. The theme of discussion was: “Anambra governorship election: a post-mortem and lessons for Ekiti and Osun states governorship polls.”
The chairman of the Institute, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, had requested the commissioner to give an update on the electronic transmission of results.
Lecky recalled that INEC has discussed with the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the telecommunication companies, adding that they had assured the agency of the feasibility of transmitting the results electronically.
He said: “We have begin discussions with the Nigerian Communication Commission, and we have also discussed with MTN, Etisalat and all other telecommunication companies in Nigeria. We have been having meetings with them.”
Lecky said the companies had agreed to cooperate with the agency on the innovation.
The commission, he said, has taken steps to ensure the functionality of the card readers, stressing that “the aperture where you do the scanning of the finger has been enlarged.”
He said the smart card readers have been enhanced to function better in the two states elections, stressing that plans are underway for the commission to improve on them in next year’s elections.
He said steps have been taken to “document the Voter Identification Number the Permanent Voters Cards to trace the phone numbers of owners to send them text messages informing them about the PVCs.”
Lecky said despite the efforts, it is the responsibility of the owners to collect them.
He added: “The commission is trying to make copies of the PVCs so that our registration area officers and other staff at the local government level and see how they can identify the owners for collection.
“The commission is doing its best to ensure that the PVCs are collected. The onus is still on the owners to collect his or her PVCs.”
A discussant from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Stella Okunna, advised the commission to prevent the late arrival of election materials and inducement of electoral officers.
She charged the commission to ensure that its equipment are in order and compel the operators of the ICT to function ethically during the elections.