THE Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that continuous voter registration (CVR) would commence on Monday, June 28, 2021, across the country.
INEC chairman Mahmud Yakubu disclosed this on Thursday during a press conference held in Abuja.
He said the CVR exercise would commence nationwide and be carried out continuously for over a year until the third quarter of 2022.
According to Yakubu, the voter registration would be done online while biometric verifications would be conducted at designated centres with schedules for registrants.
According to the commission, the online portal registration would reduce crowding at registration centres in line with advice from health officials in the country.
Yakubu said voter registration could not commence earlier due to COVID-19 pandemic and other offset elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states in November 2019.
The INEC chairman added that the CVR registration could also not commence earlier due to the commission’s determination to expand voter access to polling units by increasing their number.
Yakubu noted that the existing polling units in Nigeria were inadequate because they were initially designed to cater for a projected 50 million voters but were presently serving over 84 million voters.
He also stated that many of the polling units were inaccessible to voters, especially persons with disability (PWDs), and were not conducive to the commission’s election regulations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that the commission had begun the conversion of voting points and voting point settlements into full-fledged polling units, and relocating poorly situated polling units to better locations.
However, Yakubu said in the process of registration, emphasis would initially be on Anambra State where more centres would be established in view of the governorship election scheduled for Saturday 6th November 2021.
He stated that in order to complete preparations for the governorship election, the CVR exercise in the state would be temporarily suspended in August 2021.
The CVR was temporarily suspended on 31st August 2018 due to preparations for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
During the last voter registration in Nigeria, a total of 84.004 million Nigerians registered while 72.755 million collected their permanent voters’ card (PVC), according to data obtained from the commission.