THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is seeking partnership and collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on how to make elections more electronic. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman, INEC, said the commission would want to deploy telecommunications services and technologies to ease its work and make it more professional.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the NCC, Yakubu said the commission had recorded unprecedented achievements as the regulator of the Nigerian telecoms industry. “Telecommunications has infiltrated every sector of our lives from how we live as individuals, to how we work, do business and socialise with the rest of the world,” he said.
According to Yakubu, the power of internet/broadband and voice telephony as well as convergence has opened up boundless opportunities and provided amazing technologies that operate almost at the speed of light, which has subsequently made life easier but more complicated.
The INEC boss said it was time that the INEC reaped the full potential of telecommunications by ensuring that elections and electoral processes become fully electronic-based by the application of all the telecoms services and technologies at the nation’s disposal. He said it was in that regard that the INEC introduced and deployed the biometric voter registration in the 2011 general elections and the smart card reader in the 2015 general elections.
Hence, Yakubu said that the time had come to electronically collate and transmit election results, by doing so results would be transmitted faster and more accurately from polling units to the various collation and declaration centres.
He appealed to the NCC to facilitate a meeting between the INEC and the telecommunications network operators in Nigeria to provide the electoral body with the network coverage map for all operators nationwide, including network strength that could help deploy e-collation of voting to a central data system.
“Provide security and protection of data in the course of transmitting results in order to further safeguard the security of the process. To provide specially registered and exclusively encrypted SIM cards with special numbers for the use in the smart card readers,” Yakubu said.
On his part, Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC, who received the INEC delegates, thanked them for the visit and assured of the NCC’s support and collaboration. He promised that a meeting would be facilitated with the telecommunications operators.
– Jan. 31, 2018 @ 13:52 GMT