2023 Elections: INEC Double Down Preparations, Inaugurates Logistics Committee

2023 Elections: INEC Double Down Preparations, Inaugurates Logistics Committee

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has doubled down its preparations towards a hitch-free delivery of the 2023 general elections with the inauguration of the Electoral Logistics Committee (ELOC). The committee will be responsible for ensuring a seamless delivery of materials for pre and during the 2023 general elections. It is made up of personnel

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has doubled down its preparations towards a hitch-free delivery of the 2023 general elections with the inauguration of the Electoral Logistics Committee (ELOC).

The committee will be responsible for ensuring a seamless delivery of materials for pre and during the 2023 general elections. It is made up of personnel from all agencies and arms responsible for security and transport management in the country.

The Electoral Act 2022 under section Section 27(3) empowers INEC to request the support of the armed forces in the discharge of its duties. INEC has always partnered with security agencies for the effective delivery of its mandate. The logistics include both sensitive and non-sensitive election materials.

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman INEC noted that inaugurating the committee was critical to the successful conduct of the 2023 election because the idea was to ensure that all logistics needed for the smooth conduct of the election were always in place.

Yakubu said that flights conveying essential elections materials for 2019 poll couldn’t land easily in some airports due to poor visibility, thereby hampering the smooth conduct of the election.

“The logistics for the clearance, handling, custody, delivery, and distribution of enormous quantities of election materials is the biggest operation Nigeria undertakes every four years”.

The INEC boss urged members of the committee to commence their “meeting immediately and be submitting periodic reports through the chairman of the committee who is an INEC National Commissioner. In this way, we will be tracking progress and know well in advance potential weak links in the logistics chain.

“We will also be updating Nigerians of progress we are making on regular basis. We are determined that never again should elections be postponed at the eleventh hour on account of logistics.

He explained further that the ELOC committee was distinct from the commission’s Electoral Operations and Logistics Committee (EOLC), which is a standing committee chaired by a national commissioner.

“The ELOC is an inter-agency committee established close to general elections for a specific objective. It is, therefore, ad hoc in nature. We are determined that never again should elections be postponed at the eleventh hour on account of logistics,”

“That is why we are mobilising every national asset and starting the engagement early. On this note, it is my pleasure to formally inaugurate the Electoral Logistics Committee for the 2023 general election,” he said.

“I am confident that working together we will deliver materials to all locations nationwide in good time. Accordingly, the three-armed services (Army, Navy and Air Force) are members of ELOC. He added that for effective coordination, INEC believed that every national asset must be mobilised.

“Similarly, the Nigeria Police Force, being the lead agency in election security, is also a member as well as the sister security agencies. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) are also members pursuant to their statutory responsibilities for the clearance and release of materials at seaports and other entry points into the country,” he said.

The Committee, which is chaired by National Commissioner, Major General Modibo Alkali (Rtd), has the following Terms of Reference (ToR) to; develop a seamless strategic plan for the airlift, receipt, and distribution of sensitive materials; determine areas of challenges or inadequacies in material storage, vehicles, aircraft, cargo, and other material delivery modes in order to ensure timeous delivery of materials for the election; and determine, source, and coordinate air cargo carriage and delivery to specified airport in Nigeria.

The Committee was also mandated to determine, source and coordinate truck cargo carriage and delivery to specified States, Local Government Areas etc; develop and define a workable template for the provision of security, transportation and deployment/distribution of materials for election; identify and map out difficult terrains, areas with security challenges and crises prone areas; identify the mode of transportation to those areas.

“The ToR also mandates the Committee to co-opt any professional, person, or agency that will strengthen the work of the committee; make recommendations that will assist the Commission for a successful 2023 General Election; and submit a comprehensive report detailing an actionable plan with timelines.”

” The ToR also mandates the Committee to: co-opt any professional, person, or agency that will strengthen the work of the committee; make recommendations that will assist the Commission for a successful 2023 General Election; and submit a comprehensive report detailing an actionable plan with timelines.”

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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