The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday commenced training for Electoral Officers and Assistant Electoral Officers (Operations) in preparation for its planned expansion of Polling Units (PUs).
INEC’s spokesman in Lagos, Femi Akinbiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the two-day training was to enhance seamless implementation of new polling units to be created for easy access of voters to polling stations during elections.
Akinbiyi said the training also included top management staff of the commission from the headquarters in the state.
“The training is for electoral officers in the 20 local government areas of Lagos State. We have senior INEC staff from the headquarters also in the training.
“At the opening today, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Mr Sam Olumekun who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Mr James Popoola enjoined the participants to take the training seriously and try to contribute to the success of the exercise.
“At the end of the day, we want to have PUs that will be easily accessible for people to come out and vote during elections without inhibitions,” Akinbiyi said.
He said the training became imperative for INEC field officers on the proposed conversion of voting points to poling units.
NAN reports that Lagos State has 245 Registration Areas (Wards) 8, 462 polling units and over 3000 voting points spread across the 20 LGAs.
INEC had expressed intention to create more polling units in Nigeria, ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
The commission currently has 119,973 polling units and 57,023 voting points across the country, but intends to convert the voting points into full fledged polling units.
The current structure of polling units was established in 1996 and INEC subsequently created voting points prior to the 2011 General Elections.
The aim is to enhance efficiency in election management by decongesting polling units that had more than 750 registered voters.
In spite of increase in voter population from 53 million in 1999 to 85 million in 2019, demographic shifts, growth of new settlements and expansion of towns and villages, INEC had not expanded its polling units since 1996.