The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it requires 100,000 vehicles and 4,200 boats to facilitate efficient and successful logistics delivery for the 2023 general elections.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Tuesday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the road transportation and marine workers’ unions.
The unions include the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
Mr Yakubu said: “The signing was a demonstration of our determination to implement key recommendations of the review exercise to enhance forward and reverse logistics in our electoral operations.
“The 2023 General Elections will involve the nationwide deployment of over one million personnel and massive quantities of materials twice within a period of two weeks from our state offices to 774 Local Government Areas; 8,809 Electoral Wards and 176,846 polling units across the length and breadth of our country.
“It will require over 100,000 vehicles 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.”
The INEC chairman assured Nigerians that Commission was determined that all polling units 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 said that in order to ensure that personnel and materials arrived at polling units before voters on election day, INEC required large numbers of vehicles, including motorcycles, tricycles, boats and canoes in the riverine areas which could not be met from its internal resources.
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 within the ambit of the MoU.
The situation, according to him, has often resulted in logistics nightmare in the deployment and retrieval of personnel and materials to the riverine areas of the country.
“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,” he added.