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Deployment of technology during elections, our biggest progress- INEC

Members of the European Union Election Observation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) top management teams, after their meeting at the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says the biggest progress made by the Commission since 2019 general election is in the area of deployment of technology in elections.

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmoud Yakubu said in Abuja while receiving the delegation from the European Union observation follow up mission that , INEC was the first electoral commission in West Africa, if not Africa as a whole, to upload Polling Unit level results to a portal in real-time on Election Day.

Professor Yakubu also said that, there are other portals for ease of nomination of candidates and submission of list of Polling Agents by political parties and the accreditation of media, domestic and international observers.

The INEC boss said a huge progress was also made in the area of voter accreditation through the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

He said the Commission carried out a number of pilots and in spite of the challenges encountered in some locations, they were convinced about its efficacy.

Professor Yakubu explained that in the six bye-elections conducted last weekend in 4 States of the Federation, the device performed optimally in both rural, sub-urban and urban areas where the elections were held.

He promised that the Commission would continue to carry out more pilot test of the BVAS and would deploy the same device in the forthcoming Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections and ultimately the 2023 General Election.

Professor Yakubu said, the Commission would continue to improve on elections in Nigeria and be transparent in the management of the process.

He told the EU delegation that the commission would always welcome suggestions for improvement by Nigerians and friends of Nigeria.

Professor Yakubu appreciated the support of the EU to the electoral process and democratic governance in Nigeria.

Earlier, the leader of the EU delegation observation follow up mission, Maria Arena said they would continue to support INEC to ensure a credible election in the country.

The meeting which later went into a closed door session is expected to deliberate on the new electoral support recently launched by the EU ahead of 2023 general election.

Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo; Editing by Tina Oyinsan