The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again questioned claims that it lacks the capability to transmit election results electronically.
The national assembly had blocked the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, adding a clause which gives the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) power to certify national coverage, followed by an approval by the national assembly before INEC can transmit results electronically.
However, reacting in an interview on African Independent Television (AIT) on Friday, Nick Dazang, INEC’s director of Publicity and Voter Education, said the commission is shocked by NCC’s claim of 50 per cent network coverage in the country.
Dazang said network providers in Nigeria have assured INEC of 100 per cent coverage for electronic transmission of results.
The INEC official also disclosed that the NCC was aware that two network providers, MTN and Airtel assisted the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) in conducting their examinations across Nigeria.
“In January 2018, INEC approached NCC that it wants a technological-driven commission and both have been working closely to deliver free, fair and credible elections in our country for the benefit of our citizens”, he said.
“They are also aware that two network providers, MTN and Airtel have assisted JAMB conduct their examinations across Nigeria. So, INEC is still wondering why NCC has suddenly made a U-turn that there is not enough network coverage in every part of Nigeria.
“I am convinced that if INEC was given the chance to appear before the national assembly alongside NCC, the commission would have told the distinguished senators and honourable members that all the network providers in Nigeria have assured INEC that network coverage is 100 percent across the country”.
On the possibility of INEC’s server being hacked, Dazang stated that no server is totally secure.
“There is no website that is not prone to attack by hackers even in the most advanced nations but Nigerians should be rest assured that INEC has what it takes to fight off hackers and the commission is well prepared to safeguard its websites against hackers.
“I also want NASS members to think like statesmen. They should think about the future, not about the next election. Let us always look at the bigger picture. It pains INEC that beneficiaries of transparent elections are in the forefront of working to weaken the commission by asking INEC to share its powers with other agencies or take permission from another agency before performing its statutory functions guaranteed by the constitution of Nigeria.”
He concluded by appealing to the national assembly members to revisit the issue and approve the unconditional electronic transmission of results.
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