The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday, 28 June 2018, met with heads of security agencies, logistics experts, transport unions and other stakeholders to ensure seamless deployment of elections materials and personnel in 2019. The event took place at the Lagos Continental hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

This came on the heel of the INEC organised “Conference on Logistics for the 2019 General Elections’’ in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES). The conference was marking the last stage of planning for the elections before moving to the implementation.

The event was aimed at enhancing timely delivery of materials and personnel to polling units during the 2019 General Elections as electoral logistics is key to the successful opening of polling units and will require careful planning to ensure deployment and retrieval of personnel and materials for elections.

Declaring the conference open, Yakubu said that Nigerians would expect polling units to be opened at 8.00a.m. on election days – Feb. 16, 2019, and March 2, 2019. In order to achieve this, “It requires biggest and big-time logistics operations. We have been required to deliver personnel and electoral materials at 119, 973 locations nationwide, and they must all open simultaneously”. He said.

The INEC boss said: “The management of the electoral process is not left for the commission; it is a Nigerian project; it is not an INEC project as such we thought we should mobilise all our national assets from the security agencies, officials of the commission, private sector, transport unions to put our heads together so that we can better deliver this service to the nation in 2019.’’

In his keynote address, Mr. David Le Notre, Project Director, ECES said: “Election is a time-bound event, which requires precision and exactitude in the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials.

Mr. David, represented by Rudolf Elbling, Project Coordinator, said “For a vast geographical country like Nigeria with pockets of difficult terrains, the importance of putting in place efficient and effective logistics for deployment of personnel and election materials to service about 1,558 constituencies cannot be over- emphasised.”

Key players in the logistics industry such as the military, police, private logistics companies and bulk transporters, among others, were at the conference.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, attended the event while the army, air force, navy, Federal Road Safety and Department of State Security were represented.

“At the end of the event, contributions, support, suggestions and inputs of key stakeholders vested with handling election logistics as a matter of their respective constitutional duties were obtained.

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