Professor Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disclosed that the body will create more Polling Units across the country before the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu said this on Thursday, when he received Geographic Information System (GIS) support equipment donated by the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECEC).
This is coming six years after the commission’s attempt to create additional 30, 027 Polling Units (PUs) failed.
INEC had in August 2014, proposed to create additional 30,027 polling units, with the Northern region to get 21,615, while the Southern region was to get 8, 412 units.
However, the proposal led to uproar, forcing INEC to jettison the plan.
But Yakubu at the ceremony, while appreciating the support of the development partners, said that the equipment will assist the commission in area of delimitation of constituencies, which is one of the constitutional responsibilities of the electoral umpire.
“Your assistance will be great in addition to what we have been trying to do. Already, the Commission is considering the possibility of creating additional polling units before the 2023 general elections.
“It (Nigeria) is a huge Country and the population is rising and each time myself and the Commissioners travel around the country and we see new settlements emerging, we wonder how would these new settlements be served by polling units so that Nigerians don’t have to travel long distances in order to vote on election day.
“At the moment we have 119,973 polling units, we also have over 57,000 voting points making a total of over 180,000 polling units and voting points, yet if you look at some of the satellite images and you place dots on spots where there are polling units in relation to the vast area where we have no polling units, we are still under served even with the initiative of the commission in operating voting points and voting point settlements, so GIS in our operation with the equipment that we have will be a great facilitator in the efforts of the Commission in that respect,” Yakubu said.
The INEC boss also said the commission is already collaborating with the National Population Commission (NPC), in order to achieve the objective of delimiting constituencies, and creating new polling units that will cater for the voting needs of Nigeria’s increasing population.