The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is working to make permanent voters card (PVC) available in November to all voters who registered this year.
The Chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, stated this while addressing journalists after the opening of a validation workshop on the study cost of elections in the ECOWAS region.
“The update is that we have printed the PVCs for those who registered in the first quarter of 2018 and we are simultaneously printing for those who registered in the second and third quarters. So we looking at the end of November for all the PVCs to be printed.”
Mr Yakubu assured everyone who registered and applied for transfer or replacement of their cards of getting their PVCs ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Asked if there was still room for those who want to request for transfer, he said the request of transfer was suspended alongside voter registration on August 31.
“No, we have closed simultaneously as we suspended the registration until after the general election. But what we are doing is processing the applications we received before the August 31st deadline for the suspension of voter registration.”
The workshop was based on a study carried out on Benin Republic, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau. Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, to review and validate findings on the increasing cost of conducting elections.
Mr Yakubu, who is also the president of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), said the study which is part of ECONECs two-year Work Plan (2016-2018) is borne out of the serious concern by all electoral commissions in the sub-region about the spiraling cost of conducting elections.
“The task of meeting such extensive expenditure has increasingly challenged the national resources of many countries in our region. It is against this background that Governing Board of ECONEC inaugurated this study to explore what we can do as election managers, working together with national stakeholders and development partners, to find ways to reduce the cost of elections without jettisoning new innovations or compromising the quality, transparency and credibility of elections.”
He said ECONEC had undertaken needs assessment, solidarity and mid-term review missions to several member states for Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in the sub-region to share experience, expertise and even pool resources.
This, he said, was “not only with a view to ensuring best practice through peer review, but also in order to reduce the cost of conducting elections among our member states.”
He noted that it was in this light that member countries began to support each other to conduct their elections.
“Burkina Faso assisted neighbouring Niger Republic with ballot boxes and the printing of the voters register for the February 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. Similarly, Ghana provided support to the Republic of Liberia with the printing of the voters register for the October 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections.
“Indeed, INEC Nigeria assisted the Republic of Liberia with the deployment of ICT experts to clean up the disputed voters register in order to break the logjam to the conduct of the December 2017 presidential run-off.
“At a bilateral level, countries within the region have also provided material and technical assistance to one another to support the conduct of credible elections. The latest example is Nigeria’s support for the ongoing voter registration exercise in Guinea-Bissau.”
He said election is a sovereign national responsibility, but in the past multi-lateral agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU), working together with other development partners, had, in some cases, provided support through the donor basket to fund certain electoral expenditure.
Mr Yakubu said although this was commendable, electoral commissions in the ECOWAS region need to rethink the way elections are funded in such a manner as to make the electoral process more cost-effective yet free, fair and credible.
“This is because of the contending expenditure of government on other aspects of national development. An expensive election that ushers in a Government that lacks the resources to fulfill its campaign promises to citizens may, in the long run, erode public confidence in elections in particular and the democratic process in general.
“The obvious first step is to conduct a study on why elections cost so much. From such a study, we can then determine what can be done to reduce the cost.
“Mindful of the different jurisdictions within the ECOWAS region, we selected six countries for the study, consisting of two countries from each of the three official linguistic blocs: Nigeria and Liberia (Anglophone), Benin Republic and Senegal (Francophone) and Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau (Lusophone).
“The three experts that anchored the study were drawn from Nigeria (Prof. Adele Jinadu), Benin Republic (Francis Laleye) and Cape Verde (Jose Cabral Sanches). On behalf of ECONEC, I would like to thank them for deploying their experience and expertise in undertaking the study in spite of the short period of time available and limited resources.”
The INEC chairman said the idea of pooling resources (ballot boxes, vehicles for electoral logistics etc.) together to be deployed in support of elections in countries within the region on the basis of need is now more urgent than ever before and assured of ECONEC’s full support.
“ECONEC is in full support of the establishment of an election materials depot in Lungi, Sierra Leone, where some facilities such as trucks for electoral logistics already exist. We support this initiative and would cooperate with ECOWAS for its actualisation in line with the organisation’s mandate on electoral assistance to member states.”
He appreciated ECOWAS and ECONEC for championing the idea of pooling electoral resources together in support of the electoral process in the region.
He also expressed gratitude to the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for helping to equip and sustain the permanent secretariat in Abuja as well as the grant to undertake this study, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for sponsoring this validation workshop, in addition to the mid-term review of elections in the region, and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Development in Africa (EISA).
Why 36 Governors will work for Buhari`s re-election
Governor Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara State has said the 36 state governors of the federation, would for many reasons work to ensure the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming election.
Mr Yari, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Forward With Buhari Grassroots Mobilisers Goodwill Ambassadors.
He said the organisation was being sponsored by the NGF, and that it was its brain child.
According to him, governors across the federation will rather vote for Mr Buhari even if they belong to opposition political parties.
This, he said, was especially so because Mr Buhari had done a lot for the governors irrespective of party affiliation.
Mr Yari said one of such things was the bailout fund which was paid to all state governors to off-set workers’ salaries and outstanding arrears.
The NGF chairman said this was paid across board, adding that the fund went a long way in improving the lot of people in the states.
He further said the Buhari’s administration had also embarked on infrastructural development across states, saying that this was another reason the governors were working to ensure his re-election.
He, however, tasked governors especially those in All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled states, to coordinate door-to-door campaigns across their states.
Mr Yari said this was critical to ensuring a landslide victory for Mr Buhari and all APC candidates in the coming elections.
“As governors, the responsibility is on us to work for the actualisation of President Buhari`s re-election come February 16,” he said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, expressed happiness at the inauguration of the organisation.
Mr Osinbajo, however, noted that a lot needed to be done to sensitise the people at the grassroots on the achievements of the Buhari-led Federal Government across all sectors of the country`s economy and why he should be re-elected.
He stressed that the task ahead of the organisation was enormous considering the number of parties on the ballot paper and the need to guide the electorate to vote.
The vice president maintained that under the Buhari administration, the country`s economy was growing stronger while infrastructural development had continued across the country.
Earlier, Lawal Shuaibu, coordinator of the organisation, said it was established to give visibility, with sustained momentum, to the achievements of the Buhari-led administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration was attended by youths from across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Major shake up in Nigeria Air Force, 72 senior officers redeployed
The Nigeria Air Force has redeployed a total of 72 senior officers comprising 27 Air Vice Marshalls, 30 Air Commodores, eight Group Captains, four Wing Commanders and three Squadron Leaders for operational efficiency and effectiveness.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, announced this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Daramola, an air commodore, said prominent among those affected by the new postings are: AVM Emmanuel Anebi who is now the Chief of Policy and Plans Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF) and AVM Nurudeen Balogun, who has been appointed as the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).
He listed others to include, AVM Charles Otegbade who has been appointed as the College Secretary, National Defence College, while AVM Rufus Ojuawo who is taking over as the Chairman Air Expo and International Liaison Secretariat.
“Other appointments include those of AVM Napoleon Bali as the new Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Special Operations Command, Yenagoa, AVM Oladayo Amao as the new Chief of Training and Operations at HQ NAF”, he said.
He said AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi as the new AOC Logistics Command, Ikeja and AVM John Baba as the new AOC Tactical Air Command.
Mr Daramola further said AVM Mahmoud Ahmed has been redeployed as the Air Secretary HQ NAF and AVM Remigus Ekeh appointed as the new Chief of Standards and Evaluation at HQ NAF,
He also said AVM Ibukun Ojeyemi becomes the new Director of Policy at HQ NAF.
Furthermore, AVM Musibau Olatunji is now the Director of Air Engineering at HQ NAF, while AVM Peter Uzezi has been appointed as the new AOC Mobility Command.
“Also appointed are AVM Dahiru Sanda, who is now a Directing Staff at National Institute of Policy and Strategic studies, and AVM Ismaila Yahaya as the new Director of Training at HQ NAF, AVM Idi Lubo as Director NAF Transformation at HQ NAF,” he said.
Also redeployed was AVM Mohammed Yakubu, redeployed as the Chief of Logistics HQ NAF and AVM Emmanuel Wonah as the new Director of Sports at DHQ.
Mr Daramola also announced that AVM Paul Jemitola has been appointed as the new Director Research and Development at HQ NAF, AVM Anderson Kassimu as Director Civil Military Relations at DHQ and AVM Ibrahim Ali as the new Deputy Commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna.
“Meanwhile, AVM Musa Tanko is to take over as Director of Space Utilization at DHQ while AVM Musa Muktar has been redeployed as the new Chief of Aircraft Engineering at HQ NAF.
“In addition, AVM Maxwell Nnaji has been appointed as the new Chief of Communication Information Systems at HQ NAF,” it said.
He further said AVM Emmanuel Chukwu is now the new Director Earth Observation at Defence Space Administration and AVM Aliyu Bello as the new Chief of Staff at Headquarters Special Operations Command.
Mr Daramola said AVM Olusegun Philip is to take over as the new Director of Evaluation at HQ NAF, while Air Commodore Abraham Adole has been appointed as the Principal Air Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff.
Air Commodore Ayodele Laoye is now Director of Procurement and Group Captain Jika Sanda is the Director of Legal Services HQ NAF.
He said the newly posted and redeployed senior officers were expected to take over their new offices not later than January 25.
Minimum Wage: ULC, TUC, NLC reject N27,000; hold crucial meetings
The National Council of State adopted the N27,000 on Tuesday.
The post Minimum Wage: ULC, TUC, NLC reject N27,000; hold crucial meetings appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.
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