INEC 

By Victoria Ojeme

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has offered technical support to workers at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in preparation for next-year’s general elections.

The electoral support project aims at enhancing the credibility, transparency, effectiveness and sustainability of democratic institutions and processes in Nigeria. The project is focused on strengthening regional cooperation and knowledge among electoral stakeholders, establishing and enhancing capacities of key actors, and reinforcing inclusive political participation.

At the training, spokesperson of UNDP and Chief Technical Adviser for Election, Deryck Fritz said that democratic elections can contribute significantly to the advancement of Nigeria’s development aspirations.

The workshop with the theme: “Revenue or indication and capacity building on Election Monitoring and Support Centers report validation” held on Monday in Kano.

He said UNDP has said the entity entrusted with organizing elections should not be partial, it should serve  interests of all Nigerians, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, and other traditionally marginalized groups.

According to him, “We are all aware that democratic elections can contribute significantly to the advancement of Nigeria’s development aspirations.

“This is only possible if the elections are organized in such a manner that the voters believe that their vote will matter.

“In line with SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and strong institutions, UNDP continues to support inclusive, transparent and credible electoral processes for peaceful and cohesive societies.

 Fritz further explained that  outcomes of elections that are well organized will be viewed as legitimate, and thus, the social contract and the resulting governance are strengthened.

He added that INEC is a service entity, and to serve the public effectively and efficiently and  must itself be organized internally, with each of its component parts complementing the others.

“The EMSC will ensure the efficient planning and organization in the work of the INEC, promoting consistency and responsiveness, minimizing delays and building confidence of the key political actors in the conduct of the electoral process.

“It will also assist with countering disinformation, and building trust and credibility in the overall process”, he said.

In the same vein, the national commissioner in charge of the planning committee, prof. Rhoda Gumus said it is timely because it shall focus on the review of EMSC indicators and build on the capacity of HODs on EMSC report validation.

According to her, “the Commission has started implementation of the 2022-2026 strategic project plan, 2022 Electoral Act, as amended and time-line electoral activities for 2023 General Elections.

“EMSC had also played a very important role in the off-cycle elections; engaging on prompt and proper reporting/validation; hence, s training workshop will provide the HODs a better understanding to perform their duties, as the commission prepares for the 2023 General Elections.

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