The Independent National Electoral Commission says the number of registered voters may rise to 85 million ahead of the 2019 general election.
The revelation implies that INEC’s projection of 80 million has increased by five million.
The commission had said last year that it was expecting 80 million Nigerians to be registered by 2019.
However, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said at the 15th edition of the Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja on Friday that 74 million persons had registered as of last week.
Speaking at the event, “Nigeria and the challenges of 2019,” Yakubu, who was represented by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Solomon Soyebi, noted that there had been a lot of improvement in the electoral process since the current leadership of the commission came on board.
He said the commission was not unmindful of the enormous responsibility of conducting elections in the largest presidential democracy in Africa, and second only to that of the United States in terms registered voters.
The INEC Chairman disclosed that as of last week, the commission had 74 million registered voters, hinting that by projection, the figure could hit between 80 and 85 million by 2019 due to the on-going nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.
Responding to a concern raised by one of the speakers, Kate Henshaw, a Nollywood star and politician in her presentation about youth participation in the electoral process, the INEC Chairman said, “women, youth, People Living with Disabilities and Internally Displaced Persons had always been at the fulcrum of the commission’s plans.”
He promised that INEC would continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure an all-inclusive process.
Professor Yakubu used the opportunity to stress the commission’s resolve to adhere strictly to the timelines provided in the recently released timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 General Elections.
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