A national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)and chairman, Board of The Electoral Institute (TEI), Prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi has suggested that a separate organisation be responsible for the registration and monitoring of registered political parties in the country.
He was speaking on the challenges faced by the commission during a roundtable programme organised by TEI themed, ‘Revisiting the Template for INEC’s Elections Operational and Logistics Plan: A Focus on the 2019 General Elections.’
He said the tasks before INEC were enormous.
“Registration for political parties should be a full-time job for another body. Also, prosecution of electoral offenders is also a task for INEC which needs to be looked at,” he said.
Soyebi, who said there had been an expansion of registered voters from 2015 to 2019 and the number of political parties, admitted that INEC needed to improve on its logistics preparations.
He also said the cost of the elections was on the increase, adding that the commission was working hard to reduce it.
“Ballot boxes have to be provided to accommodate the size of the ballot paper,” he said adding, “there are some questions we should ask ourselves: What will be the number of voters, and political parties in 2023? With this, we can plan ahead,” he said.
Hajiya Amina Bala Zakari, another national commissioner, said INEC recently toured the country on national dialogue, saying discussions should be all-inclusive and aim towards a successful election in 2023.
Responding to suggestions that INEC should recruit permanent staff to conduct elections in the country and not ad hoc staff, she said the electoral empire cannot afford to employ permanent staff to conduct elections.
“It is not feasible, sourcing for ad hoc staff is a global reality,” she said. The director general of the institute, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris, said INEC had been making effort in introducing new initiatives and that the roundtable will help in future elections.
Idris, who said the 2019 general elections were applauded, noted that there were still challenges they need to work on to improve the process.