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    Nigeria’s electoral body to monitor 2019 polls via satellite - Chairman

    APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

    Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will deploy satellite to remote areas where 3G and 4G networks are not available, to monitor the 2019 general elections.

    The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said when he called on the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), Abimbola Alale, on Thursday in Abuja that INEC’s interactive meeting with operators in the telecommunication sector was critical to the success of the commitment of the agency to deepen the application of technology to elections.

    “While we appreciate the tremendous reach of the telecommunications operators, we are equally aware that some of our polling Units are located in places where 3G and 4G networks are not available for real time electronic transmission of results.

    “It is for this reason that we wish to leverage on the capacity of NIGCOMSAT to provide a wide range of telecommunication services. In particular, your broadband service offers a tremendous flexible bandwidth capacity that can be deployed almost anywhere and in a short period of time, including hard-to-reach and temporary locations,” he said.

    According to him, working with NIGCOMSAT and in partnership with the NCC as well as the telecommunications operators, the challenges to the seamless transmission of results are not insurmountable

    “We are similarly aware that NIGCOMSAT has the capacity for Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting, multimedia, video streaming, Hotspot event services and indoor and outdoor electronic message displays. These services are invaluable to our work on voter education, sensitisation and mobilisation for elections…,” local media reports quoted Yakubu as saying.

    In another development, Yakubu also sought the collaboration of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in checking the ‘buying of votes’ by politicians during the 2019 polls.

    Yakubu, who met with the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday in Abuja, was assured that the anti-graft agency would assist INEC in checking the ugly practice of offering voters money to get their votes on election days.


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