To enable Nigerians to participate in the 2023 general elections, the House of Representatives has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to extend the June 30, 2022 deadline for voter registration by 60 days.
The lower chamber mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to engage with INEC to “examine and proffer solutions to the shortage of registration machines and manpower.”
In addition, the engagement will oversee the deployment of an additional 30 voter registration machines in each of the 774 local government areas, as well as the training and deployment of ad hoc staff to alleviate the shortage of manpower at registration centres and the security of ad hoc staff members.
The committee is expected to come back in two weeks with recommendations for further legislative action.
A member of the House, Benjamin Kalu, had at the plenary on Wednesday moved a motion titled, ‘Need for INEC to extend the deadline of continuous voters’ registration, deploy additional staff and voters registration machines across the country.’
In the motion, Kalu stated that INEC’s ongoing registration would end on June 30, just before the polls.
The member recalled that INEC reported in April 2022 that around 42% of voter registrations recorded since the start of CVR on June 28, 2021, were invalid, with over 20 million unclaimed PVCs.
He said, “The House is cognizant of the large numbers of unregistered eligible voters willing to be registered, as evidenced by crowds seen at various registration centres, resulting in congestion.
“The House is concerned by reports of shortages of voter registration machines, inadequate manpower and personnel at registration centres, which may lead to frustrations among prospective registrants and, in some cases, unrest at some registration centres.
“The House is also aware of calls from concerned citizens and civil societies urging INEC to extend the registration deadline to accommodate eligible voters desiring to register for their PVCs.”