The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has printed permanent voter cards (PVCs) for all newly registered voters between 2017 and 2018 and they are ready for collection.
Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC chairman, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja after the swearing-in of Rose Oriaran-Anthony as the new secretary of the commission.
Yakubu said the PVCs of those who requested for replacement and relocation of their cards had also been printed and are ready for collection.
He said: “The commission has printed all PVCs for new registrants between April 27, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018.
”We have also printed all the requests for replacement of lost cards, all requests for transfer and relocations.
”The last batch that we printed were for those who applied for transfer and relocation, and those who applied for replacement of damaged and defaced cards.
”This will be delivered immediately after the Christmas break. So we are happy to say that all 14.5 million or so new registered voters have their cards printed and delivered to the states. So we are good to go on that.”
Yakubu also spoke on the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its implications on the 2019 elections.
He said the commission will meet with union leaders in tertiary institutions for a way forward.
The INEC chairman said that the ongoing strike was worrisome as the commission also sourced some of its election ad hoc staff from the tertiary institutions.
“The bulk of the ad hoc staff will be drawn from the National Youth Service Corps members but where there is shortfall, and obviously there would be shortfall, we rely on the universities.
“Remember we also rely on the universities to draw our collation and returning officers.
“So the ongoing strike is worrisome in case some of them say because of the ongoing strike they will not participate in the elections.
“But the ASUU has been a good friend of the commission and we intend to meet with the President of the ASUU next week so that we can discuss and iron this out.
”We will also extend it to the lecturers of polytechnics and colleges of education so that we will meet with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and all other unions in the tertiary education sub-sectors,” the INEC chairman said.