Senate gives reasons for amending Nigerian Electoral Act

By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

Nigeria's Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki

The recent amendments to Nigeria’s electoral law will strengthen the electoral process and make it conform to international best practices.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said when assented to, the amendments would eliminate rigging, violence and other malpractices associated with the voting process.

Dr Saraki made this known while receiving a delegation of Safran IS, an international biometric and identity Management Company in Abuja.

Transmission of results problem
“I believe the amendments will strengthen our electoral processes, particularly at the transmission of results to the various stages of collation…We made a lot of progress with the introduction of the Card Reader during the 2015 general election and it is our determination to improve on that during subsequent elections. One of the things that I think is the big issue during election is in the area of transmission of results, and it has been something that we need to improve on and we need to get that done before 2019,”
the Senate President explained.

He stated; “I am confident that if we can get the electronic transmission right, we will begin to have an election process that can compete with what obtains in any other part of the world.

“We want a situation that as soon as results are announced at polling units, we should be able to receive them across board. I think when we are able to do that, the challenge associated with physical result transmission would be a thing of the past.’’

Senate partnership
Senator Saraki further expressed the readiness of the Senate to partner with any organisation that could provide the right solutions and requested Safran to collaborate with the Independent National Electoral Commission and support their initiative.

The leader of the delegation, Ms Jessica Van Meeteren explained that based on its experiences and successes in similar jobs in other countries, Safran IS possessed the required technology and technical expertise to provide Nigeria with the solutions.

Ms Meeteren said the company had undertaken similar jobs in countries such as Ivory Coast, India and Chile among others.

Mercy Chukwudiebere