The Independent National Electoral Commission has reassured Nigerians that it plans to create new Polling Units in the country ahead of 2023 general elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this at a stakeholders meeting with political parties’ leaders in Abuja, saying that expanding voters access to polling units in Nigeria was crucial to voters turnout in elections.
Yakubu said experience had shown that enhancing voters access to polling units usually increase turnout in elections.
He said that many countries expanded access to polling units with every fresh registration of voters while others do so routinely or before every general election.
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Yakubu said, “Increase in voter population, emergence of new settlements, urbanisation, distance to existing polling units, difficult terrain and other factors require constant review to give the voter a pleasant experience on election day.
“Above all, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to decongest polling units to minimise overcrowding and reduce the long distances voters travel often in overcrowded means of transport in order to vote during elections.
“Unfortunately, the last time new polling units were established was in 1996,that’s 25 years ago and this was done by the defunct National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.
“There were 120,000 polling units to serve a projected population of about 50 million voters in Nigeria at that time.”