Election 2020: Compiling new voters’ register risky – IMANI


Renowned policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has once again raised doubts over the timelines set by the Electoral Commission for the compilation of a new voters’ register.

According to IMANI, the process of setting up a whole new system will be humanly impossible considering the limited time between now and the general elections.

Addressing the media Tuesday, March 10, Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simmons reiterated that the risks involved in getting a new system far outweighs refurbishing the old one.

“We know from other countries that anytime they do a new biometric register, they have problems, in Nigeria, when they did their very first one, the system rejected the President of Nigeria. We know that in Kenya when they tried to implement their very first one it was so bad that they abandoned and went back to the old one…so new systems generally cause more problems.

“It is the same way with data, registering people over again versus using the existing data and cleaning it up, you cannot tell me that registering people all over again, 17 million people in 36, 000 locations across the country will be safer than that…but the EC says they will go ahead and do it notwithstanding anything that we have said so they have gone ahead and they have done some tendering.”

Last month Imani accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of deception and playing dangerous games with its decision to go ahead with a new Voters’ register ahead of the 2020 elections.

According to IMANI, the EC’s claims that it will cost just $56 million to procure a new system whilst the cost of refreshing and maintaining the existing one would cost $74 million are dangerous untruths.

The Electoral Commission despite stiff resistance by a section of the public and opposition parties has decided to go ahead with a new voters’ register ahead of the December polls.

The commission led by Jean Mensa has set April 18 to commence the compilation of a new voters register.


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