12th January, 2015
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State says it has directed its Electoral Officers (EOs) to move to 245 Registration Areas across the state for the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Mr Femi Akinbiyi, the Public Relations Officer of INEC in the state, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
Akinbiyi said that the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Akin Orebiyi had directed the officers to ensure that eligible voters yet to collect their PVCs are able to receive them at their wards.
“The REC has directed the EOs to move the cards closer to the people after consultation with the relevant stakeholders in the local governments.
“Even in the riverine areas, our staff will be staying with the communities for the distribution,“ he said.
Akinbiyi said that the step was in line with the directive to decentralise the collection of PVCs, to bring them closer to the electorate.
The INEC PRO urged Lagos residents to pick up their cards at the centres across the state.
He said that a lot of cards produced were awaiting collection at various centres.
Akinbiyi said that the PVCs should be collected on or before Jan. 31.
NAN reports that the PVCs, according to the commission, can be picked up in 19 centres in Lagos Island Local Government Area, 10 in Kosofe, 10 in Ikeja, 11 in Ifako-Ijaiye and 19 in Epe.
It also said that they could be collected 11centres in Ibeju-Lekki, 10 in Eti-Osa, 11 in Badagry, 10 in Apapa, 11 in Amuwo-Odofin, 11 in Alimosho, 11 in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, 11 in Agege and 12 in Somolu.
According to the commission, they will be available in 11centres in Oshodi-Isolo, 11 in Ojo, 19 in Ikorodu, 12 in Surulere, 11 in Lagos Mainland, and 14 in Mushin.
NAN reports that INEC had ordered the decentralisation of the on-going distribution of PVCs to Ward levels nationwide, in order to enhance access by persons yet to collect their cards.
Before now, the distribution was done at the local government offices of the Commission since the end of distribution at the polling unit level.
The Commission, at its meeting on Jan. 8, said that registered voters who are yet to collect their cards can now do so from 8. 30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily.
It also mandated RECs to set up effective monitoring strategies and ensure that the specified hours are strictly complied with by relevant INEC staff.
The general elections are billed for Feb. 14 and Feb. 28.