INEC demands deaths data from National Population Commission
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on the National Population Commission (NPC) periodically avail it of the data of deceased Nigerians to enable the electoral body to further clean up the voters’ register.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu made the demand when the NPC Chairman, Isa Kwarra paid him a courtesy visit at the Commission’s Conference Room in Abuja on Friday.
Yakubu said NPC can start by availing INEC with the list of prominent Nigerians who have passed on, civil and public servants compiled from the official records of government ministries, departments, and agencies, and other Nigerians from hospital and funeral records across the country.
He acknowledged that the task was herculean but that is partly why NPC exists and expressed confidence in the ability of the agency to do so, stressing that the information demanded was critical for INEC to enhance the credibility of the National Register of Voters.
“We will also explore other areas of cooperation to enable us to serve Nigerians better. Of immediate interest to INEC is how the NPC can provide data that will assist us in further enhancing the credibility of the National Register of Voters.
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“We are happy that today, INEC has the largest biometric register of citizens in Nigeria complete with photographs and fingerprint information for voter authentication. We have also introduced facial biometric authentication of voters which was successfully piloted in the recent bye-election in Isoko South 1 State Constituency in Delta State.
“In order to make the voters’ register more robust, we have been periodically cleaning it up by removing ineligible persons or multiple registrants from it using a combination of technology i.e. the Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS) and information provided by citizens during the display of the register for claims and objections as required by law. However, we need to do more. At present, technology cannot help us to identify and remove dead persons from the voters’ register”, Yakubu said.
Earlier, Kwarra sought the cooperation of INEC to provide the best for Nigerians in terms of election as well as population registration and commended the umpire body for their contribution towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.
“Our visit is actually to continue our engagement with sister organisations and agencies that do similar operations like our own so that we can cement our already cordial relationship.
“The visit actually is to abreast you of what we’re doing at the Commission. For the past 16 years, we have not been able to conduct a national census but recently we get a nod”, he stated.
This post was written by James Kwen and was first published at businessday.ng