…As Reps disagree over INEC budget

By Tordue Salem – Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, disclosed that it was prepared to begin the use of electronic balloting machines in 2021, starting with Anambra governorship election.

The Commission also disclosed that it will begin the Continuous Voter Registration (CRV) and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the first quarter of 2021.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters to defend the 2021 budget proposals at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

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Responding to questions by the lawmakers, Yakubu said: “The collection of Permanent Voter Cards is tied to the Resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration. The law requires the Commission to do registration of voters on a continuous basis. Because of Covid-19 and two major elections this year we couldn’t have started the continuous registration so the intention is to do so as I said earlier is in the first quarter of next year and the cards should be made available”.

He also noted that there can not be delimitation of constituencies unless there is constitutional amendment as the number of seats in both chambers of the National Assembly has been provided for in the Constitution.

Meanwhile a mild drama ensued when Members of the Committee on Electoral Matters disagreed with their Chairman, Aishatu Dukku (APC, Gombe)
on the modalility she employed in engaging the INEC Chairman on the performance of the Commission’s 2020 budget.

The Committee also curiously sent out all the National Commissioners that accompanied their Chairman and met only with him in a closed door session.



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