INEC: 98 percent of card readers reconfigured, ballot papers fully retrieved

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 98 percent of smart card readers have been reconfigured for use for the rescheduled elections.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said all non-sensitive materials as well as ballot papers have been retrieved and delivered to various locations.

Yakubu was speaking when he addressed a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

Part of the reasons why the elections were postponed, according to the commission, were issues around logistics including delay in arrival of election materials.

But Yakubu said all issues relating to the delivery of the materials have so far been identified and “virtually addressed.”

“Ballot papers, result sheets and a host of non-sensitive materials are now in location across the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory,” he said

He said there were roughly 180,000 card readers to be deployed for the elections and “I am glad to say that as at today, about 98% of the smart card readers have been reconfigured and we are confident that by tomorrow all would be ready.”

Yakubu also said INEC state offices have commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week.

He said the movement of materials to local government areas for batching shall take place on Wednesday and Thursday, two days to the rescheduled date for the presidential and national assembly polls.

“All registration area centres (RACs) are to be activated by 9am on Friday,” he said.

“Personnel and materials must arrive at the polling units latest 7am on Saturday, while opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8am.”

While INEC moved the presidential and national assembly elections till February 23, the governorship and state assembly elections will hold on March 9.