A member of the House of Representatives representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II, Mr. Femi Bamisile, has tasked the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on aggressive spread of telecommunication networks across the country to accommodate electronic voting in the 2023 general elections.
The former Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker noted that over 37 million Nigerians might be disenfranchised if electronic voting is adopted for the 2023 polls, without adequate network coverage by NCC.
The lawmaker, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti while distributing free petrol to 1,000 commercial motorcycle operators, popularly called Okada riders, in the state capital, said e-voting is now what is in vogue globally, which Nigeria must embrace.
“It is the best option for Nigeria, but a situation where only 50 per cent of our voting population have access to network makes it impracticable now. About 37 million of our voting population will be shut out of the electoral system.
“But the NCC, as a Federal Government’s regulatory agency, must begin aggressive action that will ensure 100 per cent network coverage before 2023 elections. Nigeria has no excuse than to embrace e-voting in 2023.”
Bamisile, who described the level of joblessness among the youths in the country as frightening and disturbing, said he would soon begin a special empowerment programme for degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders among okada riders in the state.
“This empowerment programme is meant to support the commercial motorcyclists in Ekiti. They have a population of over 15,000 in the state with over 5,000 parading either B.SC or HND certificates. So, they need our support.
“I am going to do the headcount of HND and B.SC holders among them and soon, I will do a special empowerment for these people that really befit their academic status and those who are not well certificated but has interest in skills and vocational training will be trained among them.
“We are also extending the same gesture to commercial drivers in the future,” he stated.