The House of Representatives command to INEC to expand the voters registration exercise followed a movement by the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.
The House likewise requested that INEC send extra staff and voters registration machines across the nation.
According to kalu, the ongoing CVR by the Commission would end on 30 June 2022, in ahead of the 2023 general election in February.
The House expressed, was to empower more Nigerians partake in the election.
Section 9(6) of the Electoral Act gives: “The registration of voters, updating and revision of the Register of Voters under this section shall stop not later than 90 days before any election covered by this Act.”
In the motion kalu said: “The House likewise noticed that the decision to suspend the voters registration is in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, which requires INEC to suspend voter’s registration not less than 60 days before an election.
The House knows that in April 2022, INEC pronounced that around 42% of the voters registration recorded starting from the beginning of Continuous Voters Registration on 28 June, 2021 was invalid with around 20 million unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs.
“The House is conscious of the enormous number of unregistered qualified voters ready to be enrolled as confirmed by the crowd seen at different registration bringing about congestion.
“The House is worried by reports of deficiencies of voters registration machines, inadequate personnel and lack of manpower at registration center which might prompt disappointments among forthcoming registrants and at times, agitation at some registration centers.
“The House is likewise mindful of calls from concerned residents and civil society asking INEC to extend the voters registration deadline to oblige qualified citizens wanting to register for their PVCs.
“The House is further mindful that the option to cast a ballot means quite a bit to the wellbeing and authenticity of our democracy, as well as electoral intehriy.
“The House is likewise mindful that assuming nothing is done to work on the lack of voters registration equipment and extend the deadline for voters registration, many Nigerians will be disappointed in this way endangering the uprightness of the 2023 general decisions.”
Embracing the movement, the House ordered its Committee on Electoral Matters to connect with the Independent National Electoral Commission to look at and proffer solutions for the lack of registration machine and manpower and send 30 extra voters registration machine to every Local Government Area, train and convey Ad-hoc staff to work on the deficiency of labor at registration center, give security to the ad-hoc staff.
The committee was ask to close the task and report back to the House in two weeks or less.