The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it requires 100,000 autos and 4,200 boats to facilitate environment friendly and profitable logistics supply for 2023 basic elections.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on Tuesday whereas signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the highway transportation and marine employees’ unions.
The unions embody the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
Mr Yakubu stated the signing was “an illustration of our dedication to implement key suggestions of the evaluation train to improve ahead and reverse logistics in our electoral operations.
“The 2023 General Elections will contain the nationwide deployment of over one million personnel and large portions of supplies twice inside a interval of two weeks from our state workplaces to 774 Local Government Areas; 8,809 Electoral Wards and 176,846 polling models throughout the size and breadth of our nation.
“It will require over 100,000 autos and about 4,200 boats that will be accompanied by naval gunboats.
“This is a huge undertaking that must be accomplished in the next 66 days and we are resolute in doing so, to give Nigerians a pleasant voting experience.”
Mr Yakubu assured Nigerians that INEC was decided that all polling models nationwide would open at 8:30 a.m. on February 25, 2023, for the Presidential and National Assembly elections and on March 11, 2023 for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
He stated that in order to guarantee that personnel and supplies arrived at polling models earlier than voters on election day, INEC required massive numbers of autos, together with bikes, tricycles, boats and canoes in the riverine areas which may not be met from its inner assets.
Mr Yakubu recalled that INEC signed the first MoU with the NURTW in January 2015, reviewed it in December 2018, to incorporate NARTO, but did not incorporate the MWUN inside the ambit of the MoU.
The scenario, in accordance to him, has typically resulted in logistics nightmare in the deployment and retrieval of personnel and supplies to the riverine areas of the nation.
“This oversight is now addressed by the revised MoU to include MWUN, comprising of sailors, dockworkers and those in related trades in our electoral logistics planning and delivery.”
Mr Yakubu suggested management of the unions to successfully supervise their members in the numerous chapters and branches for the full implementation of the MoU.
He charged them to work very carefully with INEC and collaborate with the Federal Regulatory and Safety Agencies to guarantee that the aims of the MoU had been totally realised in phrases of required highway/sea worthiness and security requirements of your autos and boats.
He stated that the new MoU required that all the union members concerned in election duties swore and abide by INEC Oath/Affirmation of Neutrality and the INEC Code of Conduct for Electoral Officials as their participation in the supply of electoral logistics required absolute neutrality and non-partisanship.
“The safety businesses shall not solely be obtainable to escort all autos and boats to areas, they will additionally guarantee the security and safety of all election personnel and supplies.
“As standard, we shall monitor the motion of all autos and boats electronically and in actual time to guarantee that election personnel and supplies are not hijacked or diverted.
“Learning from the expertise of the previous, I would love to attraction to all the unions and service suppliers to abide by the spirit and letter of the MoU and the contract agreements.
“They should see their position as a nationwide name to obligation by making certain that there is no failure on their half, particularly on the eve of elections when it is too late for the Commission to make different preparations.
“The unions should keep an eye on your members to ensure that when they take personnel and materials to designated locations, they also bring them back at the end of the elections. Your contract is for both forward and reverse logistics.”
Mr Yakubu assured the union that INEC would work with safety businesses to shield them and their autos in the course of the task.
“In the course of serving the nation, many of you have misplaced your autos to acts of arson and vandalism arising from violence and thuggery throughout elections.
“We admire that these autos are, in most instances, the sole means of livelihood for your members.
“While we appeal to political actors to call their supporters to order, I wish to assure you that we will continue to work with the security agencies to ensure the safety of your members and the protection of their vehicles and boats,” Mr Yakubu stated.
The National President of NURTW, Tajudeen Baruwa, stated the signing of the MoU marked the starting of the journey for profitable conduct of 2023 basic elections.
Mr Baruwa stated that the three unions would do all the pieces doable to be impartial and guarantee profitable implementation of the MoU.
“I want to guarantee you and the whole nation, that the three unions, that on our half, we would not disappoint Nigeria.
“In fact the NURTW, MWUN and NARTO has come to regard this assignment as national service and therefore must deliver,” Mr Baruwa stated.
The NARTO President-General, Yusuf Othman, pledged that NARTO was dedicated to the task, including that the union had already commenced the preparations for the deployment of its males.
“We from NATO consider this assignment a national assignment and we will ensure we give 100 per cent commitment and neutrality,” he stated.
The National President MWUN, Adeyaju Adewale, recommended INEC for extending the service to the nation to maritime employees, pledging that MWUN would assist INEC to make the elections profitable.