In advance of the general elections in 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced that it would use more than 200,000 Bimodal Voter Accreditation Systems (BVAS).
This is even as the Commission said that it has reserved an additional 8,809 BVAS machines as a backup that will be installed in all polling places nationwide.
Festus Okoye, national commissioner and chairman of the committee for information and voter education, made this announcement on Wednesday.
In 176,846 polling places around the nation, the commission would install more than 194,464 BVAS machines, according to Okoye.
The commission said this was in accordance with its contingency plans for all crucial election materials when it received delivery of the final batch of the machines on Tuesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Each of the 176,846 polling places would receive a BVAS, according to Okoye, who added that each registration area, or 8,809 of them, would also receive at least two BVAS as a backup in case of malfunction. This would total over 194,464 BVAS devices.
According to him, there are 176,846 polling places in Nigeria and they’ll all be equipped with BVASs.
Noting that there could be more than 750 registered voters in some voting places, he said the Commission would send more BVAS to these polling units.
“We have 8,809 registration areas in Nigeria. Each one will have at least two BVAS for purposes of quick intervention in cases of sustained malfunction of BVAS in any of the polling units in each electoral ward,’’ Okoye said.
In a previous statement, Okoye had mentioned that the commission had only received the final shipment of BVAS devices on Tuesday.
He said that in order to ensure the smooth delivery of the machines, the commission established four airport hubs in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.
The statement reads, “In furtherance of the preparations for the 2023 general election, the commission, yesterday, 3rd January 2023, received the last consignment of the bimodal voter accreditation machines with 52 days to the election.
“The commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, national commissioners and senior officials of the commission were at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to receive the BVAS. Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company and airport security officials were at the airport to receive the INEC team.
“To facilitate the smooth delivery of the machines, the commission created four airport hubs in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. Over the last four months, several flights delivered the BVAS to the designated airports for movement to states of the federation ahead of the elections.
‘’With the arrival of the last flight in Abuja yesterday, the commission has now taken delivery of the required number of the BVAS for all the polling units in the country and extra machines in line with our contingency provisions for all critical election materials.
“The commission appreciates the support of all Nigerians in its determination to conduct a free, fair, credible, transparent, and inclusive 2023 general election facilitated by the deployment of technology.”