INEC – We Are Now Ready For Election | Fastest Delivery Of Magazine
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After the tongue lashing by virtually all segments of the public for last Saturday’s last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly , the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday began the public confidence rebuilding process, telling Nigerians that it is now ready to hold the rescheduled for Saturday nationwide.

Its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his first progress told the media in Abuja that the hitches that caused the poll shift have been cleared and that the fresh time-lines for the conduct of the election are now being met.

Specifically, he said the commission has achieved 98 per cent reconfiguration of its smart card readers, saying it is a significant milestone towards the conduct of the election and assured that the remaining two per cent would be completed today.

Responding to media reports that a couple of its senior officials are being quizzed by the Department of State Security (DSS), raising fears that the commission’s might be hampered, Yakubu denied the reports and said no director or national commissioner of the commission has been arrested by the DSS.

However, Akelicious’s checks revealed that six senior staff members of the commission, including Professor Okechukwu Ibeano, Mr. Festus Okoye, Mr. Osaze Uzi and others, were invited by DSS for a chat.

But Yakubu stated: “No commissioner of the commission was picked up by any security agency; no of any commissioner of INEC was raided; no any commissioner of INEC has been picked up by security agencies. The particular commissioner you are referring to that was mentioned in the social media is as we speak, in his in the commission. Similarly, no six directors were picked up by any security agencies.”

The chairman revealed that by 4p.m. on Monday, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed.

According to him, “Last Saturday, the commission, after extensive review of our preparedness for the general election, decided that it was necessary to reschedule the elections by one week.

‘’As I explained to stakeholders, we were constrained to shift the polls due to severe challenges and lapses we experienced with arrival and distribution of sensitive materials, as well as the fires that gutted some of our offices in quick succession, destroying several election materials.”

He said INEC had identified six areas covering three broad areas like deployment of materials, movement of personnel and reconfiguration of smart card readers.

Yakubu said: “Let me, therefore, present to you the level of implementation so far achieved as follows; by 4p.m. yesterday, all issues relating to the delivery of the materials were identified and virtually addressed. Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Our state offices commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the batching of materials according to local government areas. This is on-going at the moment and is expected to be completed today, Tuesday 19, February 2019.

“The movement of materials to LGAs for batching according to wards and polling units shall take place on Wednesday, 20 and Thursday, 21 February 2019.

“All Registration Area Centres (RACs) are to be activated by 9a.m. on Friday, February 22, 2019. Personnel and materials should be at the RACs by mid-day on Friday, February 22, 2019.

“Refresher training for ad hoc personnel should take place at the RACs on Friday, February 22, 2019. Personnel and materials must arrive at the Polling Units latest 7a.m. on Saturday 23, February 2019. Opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8a.m. on Saturday, February 23, 2019.”

Explaining further on the rationale for a week long postponement of the polls, the INEC Chairman said; “You would recall that in my address to stakeholders, I mentioned that we intended to reschedule the elections for just 24 hours to enable us to deliver the final batch of sensitive materials for the elections.

‘’However, our ICT team notified us that it would require more time to reconfigure the Smart Card Readers in time for the elections. Let me explain why. The Smart Card Readers (SCRs) are configured to only open for use at 8a.m. on Election Day, and to automatically shut down by 10p.m.

‘’This is designed to forestall any illegal use of the SCRs before the appointed time of elections. There are roughly 180,000 SCRs to be deployed for the elections and the ICT team said that they would require 5-6 days to complete the configuration.

‘’I am glad to say that as at today, about 98 per cent of the SCRs have been reconfigured and we are confident that by tomorrow all would be ready, which is a day earlier than scheduled. ”

The INEC chairman also stated that campaigns for the presidential and National Assembly elections shall now end at midnight on Thursday, February 21, 2019, while campaigns for the governorship, state assembly and FCT Area Council elections shall end at midnight Thursday, March 7, 2019.

He explained that preparations for governorship, state assembly and FCT Area Council elections are well underway, saying already, the sensitive materials for the elections have started arriving at various locations for onward movement to various CBN branches across the country.

Yakubu further stated: “Indeed, some of these materials arriving through our airports have been erroneously construed by some people as materials for the elections holding this weekend. I want to reassure you all that all materials for the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections next Saturday are already in the states ready for deployment to LGAs, Ward and Polling Units.

‘’We have learnt a lesson from the preparations for the elections holding this weekend. For this reason, we shall start the movement of materials for the next elections early to ensure that nothing disrupts our process.

“While we fully understand the disappointment and even anger that followed that rescheduling of the elections on February 16, I wish to appeal to stakeholders to be more dispassionate and circumspect in their comments in order not to overheat the polity.

‘’The commission is focusing on the elections to be held on February 23 and 9th March 2019 to ensure that they are free, fair and credible. We urge all Nigerians to participate fully in the elections, notwithstanding the disappointment caused by the rescheduling of dates.”

He said the commission would continue to speak to Nigerians daily to let them know the extent of readiness of the commission.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

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Breaking: President Buhari arrives Sochi for Russia-Africa Summit

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Breaking: President Buhari arrives Sochi for Russia-Africa Summit Muhammadu Buhari 1

 

Breaking: President Buhari arrives Sochi for Russia-Africa Summit Muhammadu Buhari 1 300x200

President Muhamamdu Buhari on Monday arrived at the Sochi International Airport, Russia for a three-day inaugural Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, which will focus on peace, security and development.
The President’s plane touched the tarmac at 11.25pm (local time) and he was received by the Mayor of the City of Sochi, Anatoliy Nikolayevich Pakhomov, and state officials.
The Economic Forum and Summit will hold on October 23 and 24, with four plenaries that will be attended by more than 30 African Heads of State and Government that have confirmed participation, including the Chairman of the African Union and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The summit will be co-chaired by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who will present a keynote address at the opening on Wednesday, and the African Union Chairman.
President Buhari and the Russian President will meet at the and Russian bilateral meeting on Wednesday.
The Nigerian leader will make a statement at the summit on Thursday.
Other participants at the summit that will showcase Russian interest and investment potential in Africa include businessmen, experts, investors, leaders of major sub-regional associations and organisations.
An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa and promote African business interest in the host country.
About 250 Nigerian business interests will be participating in the forum.
“It is important that this meeting is taking place at this time,” says the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, addinf: “All the big nations are picking stronger interest in Africa. We now have US-Africa Summit, India-Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit and Japan-Africa Summit, so Russia has signified its interest on political, cultural and economic partnership.
“Nigeria has had an excellent relationship with Russia over the years. We will not forget how the country assisted us in keeping Nigeria as one during the civil war when some our traditional allies deserted us.
“They have also stood behind us in the fight against terrorism, Boko Haram and ISWA, and Russia has demonstrated its capacity in gas production, a resource which Nigeria has a huge potential of utilising.”
Shehu said the summit will look into issues of sustainable energy, mines and steel, infrastructure development in Africa, nuclear energy and trade and investment.
On security, the Senior Special Assistant said the meeting will come up with proposals for a new security architecture that will be heavily driven by new technology.
President Buhari is accompanied by Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
Others on the trip are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; and Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

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New minimum wage: Ngige reveals when payment will take effect

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New minimum wage: Ngige reveals when payment will take effect 20191022 045202

The Federal Government has assured that the payment of the new minimum wage would take immediate effect.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, stated that the payment cuts across both the public and private sectors.

Ngige said the consequential adjustment agreed upon were as follows: “For COMESS wage structure grade level 7 gets 23%, level 8 gets 20%, level 9 gets 19%, levels 10 to 14 get 16% while levels 15 to 17 get 14%. “For those on the second category of wages structure, CONHES , CONRRISE, CONTISS etc, level 7 gets 22.2%, levels 8 to 14 get 16%, levels 15 to 17 get 10.5%.”

The Minister stated that the third category of the country’s “wage structure which includes the military and paramilitary was also factored in the agreement since they are not in the civil service, theirs would be communicated through the appropriate channels.”

DAILY POST had reported that the federal government and the labour unions finally sorted out the issues of consequential adjustment for other categories of workers after three days of meeting which ended early today.

Under the agreement reached, the core civil servants on grade level 7 are to get (23.2 per cent) adjustment; grade level 8 (20 per cent); grade level 9 (19 per cent); grade levels 10 to14 (16 per cent); and grade levels 15 to 17, (14 per cent).

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