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Liberia seeks INEC’s support on biometric voter registration

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Chairman, Steering Committee on the 2023 Liberian election, Floyd Sayor (left); Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu; Chairperson, Liberia National Electoral Commission (NEC), Davidetta Lansanah; and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, during the Liberian NEC’s delegation study visit to Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

Chairperson of Liberia’s National Electoral Commission (NEC), Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah, has sought the assistance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on biometric registration of voters.

Lansanah, who spoke during a study tour of INEC, yesterday, in Abuja, said the visit to Nigeria’s electoral body was necessary to enhance Liberia’s adaptation of biometric technology, considering the high cost of acquiring the technology.

“We will be interested in hearing from you what kind of assistance you may render to the commission as we move forward to expertise in the adaptation process in voter registration. We also congratulate you for the introduction of an online portal which buttresses physical voter registration in Nigeria,” she said.

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On his part, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, assured the Liberian team of INEC’s support, saying the commission would continue to strengthen the long-standing partnership with Liberia in the spirit of peer support.

Yakubu explained that Nigeria is increasingly moving away from manual processes by deploying more technology for transparency and credibility of the electoral process.

He recalled that in the last three years, INEC’s technical staff worked with NEC on the registration of voters twice. He said the initial assistance facilitated the conclusion of the 2017 General Election in Liberia.

“Again, our staff returned to Liberia for the same reason ahead of the mid-term senatorial election and the constitutional referendum held in December last year. Based on the lessons learnt from both exercises, our technical staff recommended that Liberia should introduce the biometric registration of voters,” he said.

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According to the INEC boss, the current full biometric register of voters introduced in 2010 in Nigeria has been used for three General Elections in 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Yakubu said the commission, since 2010, had been updating the nation’s voter register under its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise and that the aim was to enable citizens who have attained 18 years or those who did not register in previous exercises to do so.

The INEC chairman recalled that the commission commenced the CVR exercise four weeks ago with the introduction of online pre-registration through a dedicated portal designed by the commission.

He said the move has enabled eligible Nigerians to begin the process online before they come physically to complete their registration at designated centres where their biometrics would be captured.

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