The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday disclosed that it projects a voter population of about 95 million for the 2023 general election in the country.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at an election security management training in Abuja by the Nigeria Police Force for the police and other security personnel ahead of the 2023 General Election.
The figure, Yakubu said was 20 million higher than the combined voter population of the 14 other West African countries in the sub-region
He said that the election preparations, deployment and implementation constituted the most extensive mobilisation that could happen in a country, whether in peace time or wartime.
“In Nigeria, it involves the recruitment and training of staff and managing the logistics for their deployment to 176,846 polling units spread across 8,809 electoral wards, 774 local areas and 37 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“It also involves a projected voter population of about 95 million for the 2023 general election, which is over 20 million more than the combined voter population of the other 14 countries in West Africa.
“Voters will also elect candidates for 1,491 constituencies (one) presidential constituency, 28 governorship elections, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal Constituencies and 993 state assembly seats),” Yakubu said.
The INEC chairman said that ensuring the safety and security of voters, election personnel and materials, candidates, party agents, observers, the media and transporters was paramount.
He said that the responsibility had become more challenging in the context of the current security situation in the country.
He expressed gladness that the police as the lead agency in election security had once again demonstrated its leadership role by convening the workshop.
The INEC chair said that with about seven months to the general election, there was time for proactive measures to ensure that the entire country was secured for election to hold nationwide.
He expressed confidence that the workshop would also focus on deepening the capacity of the security personnel to imbibe the global standard of election security management.
“Already, the commission, under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), has produced and periodically revised the code of conduct and rules of engagement for security personnel on electoral duty.
“In the next few weeks, the code of conduct as well as our training manuals will be revised to align them with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
“And to consolidate on the professionalism displayed by the security agencies in the recent off-cycle elections.
“We will also intensify our cascade training for security personnel ahead of the 2023 General Election,” he said.
Yakubu assured the inspector-general of police, heads of other security agencies and all members of ICCES that INEC would continue to work in synergy with them to ensure a safe and secured environment for the 2023 general election.
“It is a critical election and we must all continue to work together to protect the will of the Nigerian people,” he said.
Meanwhile the Commission has disclosed that it will commence issuance of PVCs in Kaduna in October.
Mrs Asmau Maikudi, Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Kaduna stated this on Thursday in Kaduna during an interview with the Newsmen.
Maikudi also told reporters that 14 political parties would field governorship candidates for the upcoming elections in the state.
She said that as at August 1 women constituted over 50 per cent of the electorate that registered for the CVR nationwide.
Maikudi said with their numerical advantage, it would important for women to support female contestants in the elections.
“The support for one another is the surest way to success in the 2023 general elections. I wish to humbly request that Nigerian policy makers should note that the continued marginalisation of women in Nigeria is a huge detriment to its efforts to grow as a stable, democratic nation.
“Any democracy must create and ensure equity for women in politics as well as in all facets of development,” Maikudi said.
She commended the Kaduna State Government as the only state in the nation that had gone beyond the United Nations Affirmative Action of 35 per cent women inclusion.
Tinubu Charges Qatari Investors to Report Bribe Demanding Officials
By David Torough
President Bola Tinubu yesterday in Doha, Qatar charged captains of industry in Qatar to report to him any government official who will demand a bribe or any form of inducement at any point in their business activities in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum in Doha yesterday Tinubu told Qatari investors that Africa’s largest economy is being reformed and upgraded.
He reassured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business as his administration will deal decisively with any and all entrenched interests in the country who undermine investor confidence in the Nigerian economy, pledging to remove all bottlenecks standing in the way of profitable and legitimate enterprise.
The president said, “I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past, because there is no obstacle in the future.
“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me. Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but by what we do now and moving forward. Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion.
“We are removing obstacles today and we are going to continue to remove all obstacles. We have done so much within nine months. And I assure you, it is free entry and free exit. Your funds will flow smoothly into and out of our country. Bring your investments.”
Tinubu noted that the war against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria had been significantly strengthened with the appointment of the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as National Security Adviser (NSA).
“We have a man who has won many global awards for anti-corruption as an anti-corruption czar.
“My responsibility is to tell you that Nigeria is open for business and to assure you that your investments are safe in our hands. We have men and women of great reputation here. And we believe we can forge a good committee that will advance our discussions to fruitful conclusions.
“A nation is an artificial entity unless there are good people to drive it. People build great nations and we have great people. We are ready,” the President affirmed.
Tinubu noted that Nigeria possesses vast opportunities in various fields, telling his host: “We have oil and gas; we have solid minerals. I do not see why we cannot become prolific partners in exploring iron ore, as well as steel production, and energy across the board.
“I am here to give you assurances in all spheres: tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and many other opportunities that abound around us. Do not be the investors who miss out on the golden opportunity we present,” the President added.
Welcoming the Nigerian delegation in the presence of Qatari captains of industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, said his country looks forward to exploring opportunities in Nigeria, owing to its population demography and market, as it seeks to prioritize new investments in low carbon initiatives, mineral products, petroleum chemicals, industry, and consumables.
“We look forward to working with our Nigerian counterparts to achieve our joint objectives in these sectors,” the Minister said.
The President of the Nigeria-Qatar Business and Investment Forum were: Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum; Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani; Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; National Security Adviser (NSA), Ribadu; Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake; Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola; Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite; Minister of Youth, Dr Jamila Bio Ibrahim; and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperipe Ekpo.
Others at the meeting were Special Adviser on Energy, Mrs. Olu Verheijen; and the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mr. Dele Kelvin Oye.
Mob Beat Two Policemen to Death after Road Crash
By Our Reporter
Two policemen on escort duty were yesterday beaten to death, two others injured following a mob action at Ikpeshi in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
This happened after a Toyota Hilux vehicle belonging to the escort duty policemen in the convoy of former Edo House of Assembly member Emmanuel Agbaje hit a motorcycle, resulting in the death of the rider, a woman and her child.
Ikpeshi youths, according to sources, besieged the office of Edo State Security Vigilante Network, where the two policemen were taken, overpowered them and beat the policemen to death.
Two other policemen were rescued by the vigilante members.
The rescued police were taken hospital.
The four policemen were from Police Mobile Force (PMF) 19, Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
The chairman of Akoko-Edo local council, Tajudeen Alade who condemned the activities of Ikpeshi youths declared that the persons involved would be identified, arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
Edo Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the incident.
He said investigation into the incident was ongoing after which the command would release more details to the public.
NDIC Reimburses Depositors of 183 Rested Microfinance, Mortgage Banks
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has reimbursed depositors of 179 rested microfinance and four mortgage banks across the country.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Bello Hassan disclosed this at the NDIC Special Day during the just-concluded 45th Kaduna International Trade Fair.
Hassan, who was represented by the NDIC’s Deputy Director of Communication, Hauwa Gambo reiterated that the corporation’s priority was the protection of depositors’ funds of licensed banks in distress.
According to Hassan, in carrying out its statutory functions, the corporation has introduced the Single Customer View framework to expedite payment to depositors of liquidated banks.
He added that the NDIC has enhanced its collaboration with the judiciary for speedy prosecution of failed insured banks which has resulted in resolving long-drawn cases of closed banks such as Fortune and Triumph Banks liquidation.
According to the NDIC boss, the efforts have significantly improved the debt recovery rate, which enabled the corporation to declare 100 per cent liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of more than 20 deposit money banks.
He said, “Our priority at NDIC is the protection of Nigerian depositors. We are dedicated to safeguarding depositors’ funds from the adverse effects of bank failure. The corporation has introduced the Single Customer View framework to expedite payment to depositors of closed banks.
“The corporation has enhanced collaboration with the judiciary for speedy prosecution of failed insured institutions. This concerted effort has resulted in resolving long-drawn cases of closed banks such as Fortune and Triumph Banks in liquidation.
“Moreover, we have utilised alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and out-of-court settlements, revitalising our liquidation activities. These efforts have significantly improved our debt recovery rate, enabling us to declare 100 per cent liquidation dividends to uninsured depositors of more than 20 deposit money banks in liquidation.”
Hassan also said that NDIC deployed digital remote payment strategies to facilitate electronic funds transfers to verified depositors’ alternate bank accounts.
To address the apathy among depositors with small balances, he said the NDIC launched the ‘Deposit Tracer’ in partnership with mobile operators, which allows depositors to access their unpaid balances through mobile accounts.
He urged depositors of banks in liquidation to utilise the various initiatives by the corporation to claim their funds trapped in closed banks.
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