The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has said the National Assembly will work with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to mark out electoral constituencies ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Lawan stated this on Thursday in Abuja while receiving a delegation from INEC led by its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in his office.
The last creation of electoral districts and constituencies across the country took place 25 years ago, in 1996.
Lawan stated that the delineation of new electoral constituencies would enhance democracy and provide equitable and fair representation in Nigeria’s governance structure.
According to him, with the establishment of more districts and constituencies, a level playing ground would be created for Nigerians to elect leaders of their choice at the poll.
He added that for more constituencies to be created, the Federal Government should get the accurate population size of the country, stressing that such information was necessary and critical for the creation of more constituencies in disadvantaged areas.
“The issue of delineation or creation of more electoral constituencies is like the previous one on the polling units.
“But unlike the polling units, this is going to be more difficult because you need more information, especially on the population.
“And because we did not have census after the 2006 exercise, now we have to find a way of getting information about our population size because that is significant in taking any decision in that respect.
“But I want to assure you and Nigerians, that we will go all the way with you to finding solutions on getting the delineation of electoral constituencies done before the end of our tenure,” he said.
Lawan added: “It is not going to be easy by no means, but we sit here as parliamentarians to deal with the issues of developing Nigeria and of course, elections determine a lot of things in this country and, indeed, in any country.
“This is one way of giving Nigerians the opportunity to vote for their leaders and we cannot joke with that. We are all products of elections.
“If the delineation of constituencies – whether state or national – will give Nigerians better opportunities and enhance our democracy and I’m sure it will, then we must work hard to do that. So, we will work with you in INEC.”
In his response, the INEC chair, Mahmood Yakubu, said the constitution empowers the national assembly to mark constituencies.
According to him, “The major consideration in revising the country’s constituencies is the population quota.
“The national assembly has powers under the constitution to request INEC to delineate constituencies by an act of the assembly.
“No act of the national assembly has asked INEC to delineate constituencies since the last delineation in 1996.”