By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Thursday, launched the Online Registration Portal for the resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu who launched the Portal in a press conference in Abuja, also unveiled the INEC Voter Enrollment Device (IVED), and conducted a mock registration for the Media at the Media Centre to show first-hand how the portal will work when it goes live.
Speaking at the Conference, Prof. Yakubu said the Monday 28th June, 2021 resumption of the CVR remains sacrosanct, adding that the Commission is ready to resume the exercise.
In his words, “We are now ready to resume the CVR on Monday next week. We have acquired all the equipment for the exercise, updated our registration software and planned for the deployment of 5,346 staff to the 2,673 registration centres nationwide.
“Among the equipment for the exercise is a new registration machine called the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED). This device is built around the concept of a Tablet computer and will replace the laptop based old Direct Data Capture Machine (DDCM)”, he said.
He further explained that the Commission is introducing a dedicated portal for online registration, adding that the idea is for intending registrants to commence the process online by filling the forms and uploading their pictures and required documents, and then make an appointment on the web portal for a date and time to visit an INEC State or Local Government Area (LGA) office to give their fingerprints and complete the registration.
In addition, he said that 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 Permanent Voters’ Cards (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”, he stated.
While noting that the portal will go live in the early hours of Monday 28th June 2021, he emphasized that the online registration is a public service and therefore free of charge.
According to him, “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.
“Citizens can complete the online pre-registration anywhere and at any time they choose. Just follow the simple but detailed step-by-step procedure on the portal and contact the INEC Help Desk where necessary. The details are on our website”.
He further reiterated that in addition to the online registration portal, there will be some 2,673 centres where citizens can register physically nationwide, adding also that the exercise will be carried out continuously over a period of at least one year thereby providing enough time for the Commission to reach all the nooks and crannies of the country to ensure that no eligible Nigerian is disenfranchised.
Worried by the threat that insecurity could pose to registrants and INEC staff during the CVR, he stated that based on stakeholders’ advice, the Commission decided to adopt a roll-out and roll-back approach to the exercise such that the registration centres will not only be accessible but safe and secure.
He pointed out that after a careful consideration of the suggestions from stakeholders, the Commission has decided to modify the schedule for the CVR as follows:
He appealed for the understanding and support of Nigerians, especially those who have been keenly awaiting the resumption of the CVR.