The Management of Independent National Electoral Commission lead by its Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Communications Commission Head Office in Abuja.
The team was received by Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC/ CEO and Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission. After the welcoming and exchange of pleasantries by members of the duo Commissions, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said that the purpose of his visit is to establish areas of partnership and collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission with a view to enhancing and making elections more electronic, by deploying telecommunications services and technologies to ease INEC’s work and make it more professional.
Professor Mahmood noted that NCC has recorded unprecedented achievements as the regulator of the Nigerian telecoms industry, stressing that telecommunications has infiltrated every sector of our lives from how we live as individuals, to how we work, do business and socialize with the rest of the world. Professor Mahmood noted the power of Internet/Broadband and voice telephony as well as convergence has opened up boundless opportunities and provided amazing technologies that operate almost at the speed of light, which has subsequently made life easier but more complicated.
The INEC boss said that it is time that INEC reaps the full potential of telecommunications by ensuring that elections and electoral processes become fully electronic-based by the application of all the telecoms services and technologies at our disposal. He said that it is in that regard that INEC introduced and deployed the biometric voter registration in the 2011 General Elections and the Smart Card Reader in the 2015 General Elections. The time he said has come to electronically collate and transmit election results, by doing so, results will be transmitted faster and more accurately from polling Units to the various collation and declaration centers.
The INEC Chairman appealed to NCC to facilitate a meeting between INEC and the telecommunications network operators in Nigeria for the realization of the underlisted objectives.
1. To provide INEC with the network coverage map for all operators nationwide, including network strength that can help deploy e-collation of voting to a central data system.
2. Provide Security and protection of data in the course of transmitting results in order to further safeguard the security of the process.
3. To provide specially registered and exclusively Encrypted SIM Cards with special numbers for the use in the Smart Card Readers.
Professor Danbatta, thanked his guest for the visit and assured him of NCC’s support and collaboration and promised that a meeting will be facilitated with the telecos.