The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, says the critical success factor in the deployment of technology in any election is training of officials.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof.Mahmood Yakubu stated this at the opening of a 3-day training programme for staff of the commission, tagged “the training of master trainers on election technology” in Abuja.
Professor Yakubu stressed the need to build the capacity of the staff ahead 2023 election, not only to competently handle the devices during the accreditation process but also to respond effectively to any glitches that may occur during elections.
The INEC Chairman said “Our plan for the 2023 General Election is to commence the training of election officials early and for a longer period of time for optimal understanding of the processes and procedures in order to serve Nigerians better. A key component of this effort is election technology.
“Today, we begin the process with the training of master trainers to serve as Registration Area Technical Support (RATECH). A total of 82 officials drawn from our offices nationwide will form the nucleus of the training. Over the next three days, they will receive intensive hands-on training on the new technology.
“Thereafter, they will train more officials at zonal level to cover all the 8,809 Registration Areas (or Wards). In turn, these officials will be involved in the training ad hoc staff for the 176,846 Polling Units nationwide.”
The INEC boss advised the trainees to pay special attention to the training, adding that their role as master trainers was critical to the success of training at subsequent levels and ultimately the successful deployment of the devices during elections..
He however warned that the Commission will not accept laxity on the part of the participating officials who are expected to subsequently train other officials of INEC, while disclosing that there will be consequences for unethical behaviour or any act of misconduct.
Recall that over the last two years, the Commission has increased the deployment of technology in the elections in Nigeria.
According to the INEC Boss, the combination of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which doubles as a device for accreditation as well as the upload of the Polling Unit level result sheets to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal have both come to stay as a means of voter accreditation and transmission of election results.
To this end, the training which is also train-the-trainers workshop on election technology, is expected to acquaint staff of the commission with the technicalities and operational module of the equipment to be deployed for the 2023 General Election as they are also part of the legal requirements for conducting elections in Nigeria.