APC legislators are aware that we have the capability of e-transmitting results: INEC
Since 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has demonstrated to the National Assembly its ability to electronically send election results across all of Nigeria, including distant places.
“We have gone a long way in terms of extending the use of technology in the electoral process, and cellphone operators informed us in 2018 that they had done similar things for other agencies, so this one will not be a huge issue,” INEC spokesman Festus Okoye said on Channels TV Saturday.
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that Mr. Okoye stated that INEC election officials have consistently notified Senate and House committees on electoral matters that they have sufficient technical capacity to send results via communication networks.
To decrease the delays that are frequently associated with physically carrying results from polling units to collation centers at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
INEC recognized that physically transferring electoral materials, particularly from distant communities with limited infrastructure or security, was unsafe and frequently linked to ballot thefts and other irregularities.
However, after months of deliberation about whether the country should abolish a critical avenue of election manipulation and allow electronic transmission of results.
On Wednesday, lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress unanimously rejected the idea in the Senate.
According to the APC senators, INEC does not have the capacity to send results via electronic channels throughout the country, leaving the final choice to the NCC.
The plan was rejected by opposition PDP senators, who voted unanimously in favor of electronic transmission of results as a necessary reform to a long-marred procedure.
On Thursday, APC members in the House joined their Senate counterparts in rejecting electronic transmission, prompting PDP lawmakers to walk out of the legislative session in protest.
However, INEC maintained that results might be broadcast through networks if lawmakers could muster the political will to grant such authorisation in the Electoral Act.
“For quite some time, this specific commission has been testing various technological solutions in the electoral process and looking at some of the elections held since 2020.
As you can see, we have uploaded the results of 22 elections, including state elections, House of Representatives elections, senate elections, and governorship elections, to our central webpage, where the public can see them.
“These elections that we have posted span all six geopolitical zones; for example, in North-Central, we submitted the results of five elections.
We submitted results from five distinct elections in the North-West, and three different elections in the North-East.
We did three in the South-East, four in the South-West, and six in the South-South.
Some of these locations have security issues, while others present terrain challenges.
“We have uploaded results from very remote areas, even areas where human carriers are required to access; we have uploaded results from those areas.”
“The commission was also invited, and we made our position clear, which has been clear and consistent: that this particular commission is irrevocably committed to deepening the use of technology in the electoral process, and we want powers to enact that commitment.”
According to the insider, INEC met with the NCC and both agencies exhibited readiness for electronic transmission ahead of the 2023 elections.