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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has disclosed that additional Bimodal Voters Accreditation System, BVAS, machines have been imported for the 2023 general elections.
The electoral umpire took delivery of the last batch of the machines on Tuesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, noting that it conforms to its contingency arrangement for every critical election material.
Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in an interview on Wednesday, said the commission would deploy more than 194,464 BVAS machines in 176,846 polling units nationwide.
He said that 176,846 polling units would be given one BVAS machine each, noting that each registration area totaling 8,809 would also get not less than two BVAS as a backup in the event of a malfunction, bringing the total to more than 194,464 BVAS machines.
Okoye said “We have 176, 846 polling units in Nigeria. All of them will have a BVAS. Some polling units may still have more than 750 registered voters. We shall deploy additional BVAS to such polling units.
“We have 8,809 registration areas in Nigeria. Each one will have at least two BVAS for purposes of quick intervention in cases of sustained malfunction of BVAS in any of the polling units in each electoral ward.’’
Okoye in an earlier statement stated the electoral body had on Tuesday received the last batch of the BVAS machines.
According to him, INEC created four airport hubs in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Kanu to ensure smooth delivery of the machines.
The statement read, “In furtherance of the preparations for the 2023 general election, the commission, yesterday, 3rd January 2023, received the last consignment of the bimodal voter accreditation machines with 52 days to the election.
“The commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, national commissioners and senior officials of the commission were at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to receive the BVAS. Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and airport security officials were at the airport to receive the INEC team.
“To facilitate the smooth delivery of the machines, the commission created four airport hubs in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. Over the last four months, several flights delivered the BVAS to the designated airports for movement to states of the federation ahead of the elections.
‘’With the arrival of the last flight in Abuja yesterday, the commission has now taken delivery of the required number of the BVAS for all the polling units in the country and extra machines in line with our contingency provisions for all critical election materials.