Ahead of preparations for the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is pushing for the creation of additional 57,023 polling units.
The initiation, it said, is to enable more Nigerians to vote.
The INEC will also hold talks with Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Arewa Consultative Forum, PANDEF, the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, ( NSCIA) and civil society groups, to secure their support for the plan.
If all the stakeholders endorse INEC’s plans, it will be the first time since 1996 that additional polling units will be created.
INEC will also no longer allow the setting up of polling units in private compounds, royal palaces, government houses, political party buildings, or facilities that are in dispute.
The proposals are contained in an INEC document titled: “The State of Voter Access to Polling Units in Nigeria”.
Section 42 of the Electoral Act empowers INEC to create polling units. Despite its surging population, the nation’s polling units in the last 25 years have remained at 119,973.
Although INEC has not succeeded in the last 25 years to create more Polling Units because of suspicion, it explained that the time is ripe now.