Contrary to claims by members of the National Assembly that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not have what it takes for e-transmission of election results, the Commission has come out to declare that it possesses capacity and the required technological infrastructure to transmit results electronically in remote areas.
INEC’s National Chairman and Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, made this known during a Channels TV’s programme.
It could be recalled that lawmakers of the National Assembly were divided on Thursday as members debated section 52(3) of the Electoral Amendment Act Bill, which deals with electronic transmission. Clause 52(3) of the Bill had prescribed that INEC might adopt electronic voting and transmission of results where practicable.
The section, which provided for INEC to determine the electronic process of voting was, however, amended to empower the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to determine suitability of the network to conduct electronic election processes with approval of the National Assembly.
The lawmakers who opposed electronic transmission of results argued that some parts of the country do not have the required network coverage.
It could be recalled that the Executive Commissioner at the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, had told lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Friday that only 50 percent of the country has the 3G coverage required for transmission. Okoye, however, insisted that the Commission’s position was clear.
Okoye said: “We have uploaded results from very remote areas, even from areas where you have to use human carriers to access. So, we have made our own position very clear, that we have the capacity and we have the will to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process.
“But our powers are given by the Constitution and the law, and we will continue to remain within the ambit and confines of the power granted to the commission by the constitution and the law.”