The National Economic Council(NEC) has endorsed the conversion of existing Voting Points(VPs) and Voting Point Settlements(VPS) to Polling Units, in order to immediately address the congestion of existing Polling Units(PUs) and to provide for swathes of areas without the PUs.
The National Economic Council is a body presided by the Vice President and consisting of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, thirty-six State Governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Teritory(FCT), among others.
The endorsement which took place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja on Thursday, came hot on the heels of a succinct presentation by the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on the Commission’s determination to urgently expand voter access to Polling Units.
As at now, Professor Yakubu stated, the congestion which bedevilled existing Polling Units and their abject non availability to those who deserved them had assumed the proportion of a crisis, adding that the 119,973 existing Polling Units were created in 1996, twenty five years ago.
Professor Yakubu disclosed that once a national consensus was forged by Stakeholders around the conversion of existing VPs and VPS to Polling Units, the Commission could proceed to establish new Polling Units by March 2021.
He explained that it was necessary for the new Polling Units to be created next month to pave way for the re-commencement of the Continuous Voter Registration(CVR) exercise which was suspended shortly before the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
He said, “The creation of new Polling Units can be accomplished before the end of March(2021). This is because PUs have to be determined before the re-commencement of the Continuous Voter Registration exercise.”
The INEC Chairman was accompanied by five National Commissioners, namely: Malam Mohammed Kudu Haruna, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, Barrister May Agbamuche-Mbu, Barrister Festus Okoye and Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu.
Also at the presentation were the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony; the Chief Technical Adviser to the Hon. Chairman, Professor Bolade Eyinla; and the Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang.