By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has met with the management of the Nigeria Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, to enhance the former’s bid to ensure electronic collation and transmission of election results.
A statement by Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, recalled that the INEC boss had only last week had a very useful meeting with the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, as the regulator of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria.
The statement read: “In continuation of consultations with national agencies in the telecommunications sector, INEC considers this interactive meeting critical to the success of our commitment to deepening of the application of technology to elections.
“We ,therefore, appreciate the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and management staff of Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, Abimbola Alale, for the kind acceptance of our request for this visit.
“Through the NCC, we are reaching out to the telecommunications operators for the necessary connectivity to ensure that results of elections from each of the 119,973 (or approximately 120,000) polling units nationwide are electronically transmitted, including scanned images of result sheets.
“While we appreciate the tremendous reach of the telecommunications operators, we are equally aware that some of our Polling Units are located in places where 3G and 4G networks are not available for real time electronic transmission of results.
“It is for this reason that we wish to leverage on the capacity of NIGCOMSAT to provide a wide range of telecommunication services.
“In particular, your broadband service offers a tremendous flexible bandwidth capacity that can be deployed almost anywhere and in a short period of time, including hard-to-reach and temporary locations.
“These are invaluable to the work of INEC. Working with you and in partnership with the NCC as well as the telecommunications operators, we believe the challenges to the seamless transmission of results are not insurmountable.