The Independent National Electoral Commission will hire about 40 per cent of its ad hoc workers for the February 16 and March 2 elections from members of the National Youth Service Corps, the National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, has stated.
Between 300,000 and 400,000 corps members would be needed for the two elections out of 800,000 to one million workers to be deployed in different polling booths during the exercise.
According to the INEC commissioner, the expectation is that the corps members will serve as presiding officers in about 120,000 polling units and the estimated 30,000 voting points and settlements.
He also stated that should there be any shortfall, the commission would make use of students from federal tertiary institutions.
Okoye spoke in Abuja where he shed light on the number of ad hoc employees to be deployed for the February and March polls including the additional 30,000 voting points that might be created by INEC.
He said, “There are 119,809 polling units in Nigeria and maybe additional 30,000 voting points will be created. Each polling unit and voting point will have not less than four ad hoc staff. We have a total of 8,809 registration areas and each of them must have collation officers.
“All the local governments and area councils must have collation officers. INEC will conduct elections in 1,558 constituencies and it requires between 750,000 and one million ad hoc workers. The commission can only harvest around 40 per cent of its ad hoc staff need from the corps members.”
Okoye explained that each of the polling units would be manned by a presiding officer and three assistant presiding officers.
The national commissioner added, “Where voting points are created, there will be at each voting point an APO (VP) and three APOs appointed by the commission under the supervision of the presiding officer. The presiding officer shall delegate the responsibility of accreditation, preparing and issuing of ballot papers to the assistant presiding officer (VP) in-charge of a voting point.
“The commission will also deploy collation officers in all the registration areas/wards throughout the federation as well as supervisory presiding officers to all the registration areas/wards. The commission will deploy registration area technical support staff in all the registration areas/wards.
“The commission will also deploy collation officers in all the local governments in the federation and appoint returning officers for all the strands of election that will be conducted.”
According to Okoye, INEC does not create voting points based on geography.
He said, “The voting points are created based on multiples of 500 and a maximum of 750 registered voters or as may otherwise be determined by the commission. The determining factor in the creation of voting points is the number of registered voters in a particular polling unit and the need to make it easier for all registered voters to cast their votes expeditiously.
“Voting points are not stand-alone polling units. Voting points are appendages of the existing and main polling units. The APO (VP) in charge of a voting point reports directly to the presiding officer and hands over the votes harvested from the voting point to the presiding officer after counting and recording in the appropriate forms.