Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerians of timely delivery of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of newly registered voters for collection starting from October ending and early November this year.
The electoral body also disclosed that it is undertaking a thorough process to cleanup is voter registration database.
The cleanup exercise which uses the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) introduced by the commission earlier in the year is aimed at removing invalid voter records to ensure that valid ones are added to the existing national register of voters.
The commission had earlier announced that out the 2,523,458 (Two million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, four hundred and fifty-eight) fresh registrations between 28th June 2021 and 14th January 2022, 1,126,359 (One million, one hundred and twenty-six thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine) invalid voter records have been delisted from its database using the ABIS.
INEC commenced the ongoing cleanup exercise for new registration immediately after it suspended the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) on 31st July 2022.
According to a statement by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, the current cleanup exercise is for registrations within the period of 15th January to 31st July 2022.
He said, “The ABIS for the period – 15th January to 31st July 2022 is almost completed. Several double, multiple and ineligible registrants have also been detected and invalidated. These include entries that fail to meet the Commission’s business rules. The Commission takes this responsibility seriously because a credible register is at the heart of electoral integrity.”
Okoye said the commission will provide full details of the exercise as soon as it is concluded.
“As soon as the process is concluded, the Commission will provide the public with full information as usual. Thereafter, valid registrants will be added to the existing national register of voters before publishing same nationwide for scrutiny, claims and objections by citizens as required by section 19 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“We reassure Nigerians that a thorough process is being undertaken to clean up the registration data. Similarly, Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) for all valid registrants will be available for collection by the end of October/early November as promised.”