- INEC has said that it would follow the rule of law in its on-going voter registration
- The FG had said the NIN is compulsory for transactions such as bank account opening and voter registration
- Festus Okoye, the commission’s spokesman, said the electoral body would not impose or accept the imposition of extraneous registration requirements for voters
There are indications that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) might have rejected the proposed use of the National Identification Number (NIN) as a requirement for voter registration.
The Guardian reports that the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, had in February 2021, while citing Section 27 of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act of 2007, said NIN was compulsory for transactions such as bank account opening, payment of taxes and voter registration.
Legit.ng gathered that the INEC had fixed the first quarter of 2021 for the resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
The commission’s spokesman, Festus Okoye, while speaking at a validation workshop for the INEC voter education manual in Kogi state on Thursday, March 11, said the electoral body would not impose or accept the imposition of extraneous registration requirements not in tandem with the constitution and the law.
Okoye, in his speech which was made available to journalists in Abuja, insisted that for registration of voters, the electoral body would, as always, be guided by the law and the constitution.
The report added that although the INEC national commissioner did not give details of the “extraneous registration requirements”, it was gathered that the commission was opposed to the use of NIN in respect to voter registration.
The commission’s position was said to be premised on the fact that both the Electoral Act and the 1999 constitution did not state NIN as a prerequisite for the registration of voters.
Okoye hinted that the commission would soon release guidelines for the movement of voting points to decongest the existing ones.
He stated that the electoral body would resume the continuous voter’s registration exercise as soon as the expansion of access to polling units is completed.
The commissioner noted that based on the new arrangement, new and some old registrants would have new, accessible and closer polling units, adding that all polling units would have a lower threshold of 750 voters and an upper threshold of 1000.
“It is pertinent to explain here that no voting point will be moved from one local government to another.
"It is also important to underscore the fact that the expansion of polling units will not confer any advantage on any state other than decongesting existing polling units, degrading overcrowding, aiding increase of voter turnout and improving the quality of legal services rendered by the commission."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government announced the implementation of some new policies that would allow Nigerians to have easy access to the NIN enrolment process.
It was reported that part of the new measures includes the extension of the tenure of National Identity Numbers (NIN) enrolment agents of Mobile Network Operators (MNO) from one to five years.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.