• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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INEC presents 2022-2026 strategic, 2023 election project plans

James Kwen

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan (SP) and the 2023 Election Project Plan (EPP).

The commission said notwithstanding the challenges confronting it and the entire nation, it is determined to organise the 2023 general elections.

While the SP is a blueprint designed to help the commission develop a pragmatic roadmap that will serve as a practical guide for its work in the next five years, the EFF is the collection of activities of INEC departments/directorates with their timelines for the successful conduct of the 2023 general election.

Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman in his speech at the public presentation of the documents in Abuja on Thursday, said they are the third in the series of strategic election plans since the era of deliberate planning of elections started in 2012.

Yakubu explained that the strategic plan and the 2023 election project plan drew lessons from, and thoroughly reviewed, the level of implementation of the last plans and they build on the successes of the preceding plans, especially in the planning and conduct of the 2019 general election as well as off-cycle and bye-elections.

He said: “Against the backdrop of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current security situation in the country, both plans had to prioritise the institutionalisation of the commission’s processes for the effective delivery of its mandate by focusing on capacity-building, the promotion of professionalism, encouraging greater synergy among departments, improving efficient utilisation of resources, increased deployment of technology as well as greater sensitivity to threats to the electoral process as well as election personnel and infrastructure.

Read also: Challenges won’t stop us from holding elections – INEC

“These concerns are reflected in the Plan’s five strategic objectives, each of which identified several key actions, key activities and key outcomes that constitute a broad guide to the vision of the commission to provide electoral operations, systems and infrastructure to support the delivery of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections. The plan also forms the basis for the election project plan which focuses on five key objectives identified by the commission as critical for the successful conduct of the 2023 general election.”

Yakubu also disclosed that by next week, the commission will conclude the revision of the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

He said work has also commenced on the review of the manuals for the training of election duty personnel and with the planning processes virtually completed, the commission will now focus its attention on election technology and election administration.

The INEC boss stated that the 2023 election will be conducted for 1,491 constituencies nationwide, made up of 1 presidential constituency, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 28 governorship elections and 993 state constituencies.

He added that the election will involve an estimated one million electoral officials (both permanent and temporary or ad hoc staff) deployed to 176,846 polling units in 8,809 Wards and 774 local government areas across the country.

According to Yakubu, the election will be governed by a new Electoral Act 2022, which contains many progressive provisions that will enhance the capacity of the commission to conduct elections and manage the electoral process better.

He acknowledged the security challenges and their impact on the electoral process but assured that INEC will continue to engage early and intensely with the security agencies to ensure the safety of its personnel and materials, accredited observers, the media and the voters.

“Clearly, these are challenging times but we are determined that election must hold in 2023. However, this is a shared responsibility. INEC plays a critical role but the commission alone cannot deliver the elections we all desire. I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to join hands with us in ensuring that we make a success of the process.

“Let once again reiterate that the dates for all activities in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election are firm and fixed and all stakeholders are advised to take this into consideration in planning their activities.

Yakubu reiterated that Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) have no expiry dates and assure all registered voters that cards issued by the commission remain valid for all elections, urging those who lost their voters cards or whose cards are damaged to approach any of the INEC registration centres to apply for a replacement.