The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has launched an online portal for Nigerians to register as voters.
The portal will go live on Monday, June 28, when the online registration is scheduled to resume.
The electoral umpire stopped the continuous voter registration exercise in August 2018, few months before the 2019 general elections.
As of then, the total number of registered voters in Nigeria stood at 84 million, about 42 per cent of the country’s total population.
At least 11 million voters were yet to collect their permanent voter cards (PVCs) when the commission stopped the distribution.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the portal was created for intending registrants to commence the process online by providing relevant details before booking an appointment to visit the commission’s office.
They can then visit any state or local government office of INEC to complete the process from July 19, the same day the physical registration is scheduled to start.
Yakubu said that as a result of security challenges in some parts of the country, the commission decided to start the registration online before it commences fully at all the 2,673 registration centres nationwide at a later date.
“In addition, those who are already registered as voters can carry out all the other activities such as transfers, correction of personal details and replacement of damaged or defaced PVCs online.
“We hope that through this portal, we shall reduce overcrowding at our registration centres, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, make the registration processes generally easier, thereby giving Nigerians a pleasant electoral experience.
“However, I must quickly reiterate that the online registration is a public service and therefore free of charge. There is no INEC-approved cybercafe, no online registration centre and no scratch card to be purchased for the exercise. All you need is a device, including your mobile phones, that can connect to the internet,” he said.
Yakubu added that INEC has acquired all the equipment for the voter registration and has also planned for the deployment of 5,346 staff to the registration centres.
According to him, among the equipment is a new registration machine called the INEC voter enrolment device (IVED) which will replace the laptop-based old direct data capture machine (DDCM).
“I am glad to say that our engineers designed the IVED in-house before it was fabricated abroad. It is more mobile and efficient than the DDCM and could also be deployed to other activities, particularly the accreditation of voters during elections,” he said.
INEC had converted a total of 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements into polling units to make it easier to vote during elections.