INEC Mulls Making NIN Compulsory for Voter Registration

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INEC Mulls Making NIN Compulsory for Voter Registration
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is considering making the National Identity Number, NIN, compulsory for registering voters when the continuous voter registration exercise begins soon.

This was disclosed by a national commissioner at INEC during an interview with The Punch on Tuesday.

According to him, the Nin would help tackle challenges of underage voting, alien voting and other challenges associated with registration.

The INEC commissioner who chose to remain anonymous said a final decision would be reached soon.

He said that the permanent voter card was only supposed to be in use for a maximum of 10 years, adding that most countries rely on a national database and not the Permanent Voter Card for voting.

He said, “The NIN is the ideal. When we want to begin the continuous voter registration, we may consider it because ordinarily, a national identity card is what should be used for voting. When the PVC was introduced, it was meant to be in use for 10 years and the assumption was that within those 10 years, the national identity card would be in use by a majority of Nigerians.

“I can tell you that the NIN will be one of the preconditions for registration when the CVR starts. We are trying to harmonise all databases.”

speaking on the development, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Nick Dazang, when contacted said he could not say for sure if the NIN would be a precondition for registration, adding that meetings were still ongoing.

He said once a final decision had been made, INEC would officially inform Nigerians.

Commenting on whether the NIN would be made compulsory for new registrants, Dazang said, “When we reach the bridge, we will cross it. For now, we have not announced the date for the registration exercise to begin and the conditionality. When we are ready, the commission will announce the procedure for the continuous voter registration so the commission has not taken a decision in respect of that.”

Also, the INEC director said the commission was equally looking at how to ensure that the registration is done amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

INEC has not registered any Nigerian in over two years, a development which civil society groups have criticised.

Recall that the commission had announced in November that the registration exercise would begin in the first quarter of 2021.

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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