With Nigeria’s general elections just two years away, the country’s electoral commission has begun preparations.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, June 28, 2021, commenced the continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise nationwide. This comes more than two years after the last exercise.

This is an opportunity for Nigerians that are yet to register before to get their voters card, to enable them to participate in any election. The process is also open to people whose permanent voters cards (PVC) are damaged, stolen, or want to change their biodata.

As the voter registration exercise kicks off, INEC has announced guidelines to help people understand how the new process will work.

How can you register?

The INEC voter registration exercise will be done both online and in-person, according to Obo Effanga, Resident Electoral Commissioner at INEC in Rivers State.

Online registration: This can be done on a new INEC portal, where Nigerians can fill in all their details and print out the slip. 

INEC launched the dedicated portal last week. This is unlike the previous years where prospective voters queued in various centres to register and obtain their voter’s cards.

The portal will help Nigerians start the registration process online and then make an appointment for a date and time to visit an INEC State or Local Government Area (LGA) office to give their fingerprints and complete the registration.

With the online portal, you can also apply to replace lost or damaged permanent voters cards or update your biodata. It is also open to people who have transferred their registrar or done any correction of names or other details.

In-person registration: After the online registration, you have to proceed to INEC offices at the local government area near you or any designated centre that INEC provides along with your printed slip. At the LGAs, a biometric capture will be done after which you will get temporary voter cards.

INEC has warned Nigerians against doing double registration as the system would detect that and such a person’s registration could be cancelled. They could also be liable to prosecution at the court and face the law.

Who can participate in the Voter Registration?

  • Nigerian citizens up to 18 years who are yet to register
  • Registered voters that have issues with accreditation during previous elections can apply to have the agency fix the problems
  • Registered voters that want to transfer their voting points from one place to another
  • Registered voters whose voters cards have been damaged or lost can apply to replace them
  • Registered voters that wish to correct any information on their cards

For now, only the online exercise of the voters’ registration has kicked off and INEC is yet to set a date for the physical registration.

INEC has said it is targeting at least 20 million new voters to its existing 84 million voters as of 2019.

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Michael Ajifowoke | Author

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