Nigeria’s INEC seeks data sharing to clean biometric voters register
Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) is asking for closer collaboration from the National Population Commission (NPC) to help it effectively clean up the biometric National Election Register in the country, This Day reports.
The NPC is the federal government agency responsible for keeping records on births and deaths as well as other demographic statistics and data.
During a recent meeting in Abuja with the NPC boss, INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu pleaded with the Population Commission to share its essential data with INEC so that it can identify and delist the names of deceased persons from the electoral register, This Day notes.
Yakubu said although INEC has been using a combination of biometric systems such as the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) to clean up the voter rolls, the agency would certainly achieve more complete results if it was given data on deceased Nigerians from the NPC.
“Of immediate interest to INEC is how the NPC can provide data that will assist us in further enhancing the credibility of the National Register of Voters. We are happy that today, INEC has the largest biometric register of citizens in Nigeria, complete with photographs and fingerprint information for voter authentication. We have also introduced facial biometric authentication of voters which was successfully piloted in the recent bye-election in Isoko South 1 State Constituency in Delta State,” the INEC chairman was quoted as saying in a report by the Nigerian Tribune.
“I wish to once more appeal to the chairman of the NPC, in your capacity as the registrar of births and deaths in Nigeria, to periodically avail us of the data of deceased Nigerians so that we can use the official information from your Commission to further clean up the voters’ register,” the official further told the Tribune, adding that the NPC could start by making available to INEC data of some prominent Nigerians who have died especially from the civil service and other government ministries and agencies.
The call by INEC for the NPC to share its data for the purpose of cleaning up the voters roll underlines the need to have a centralized biometric database in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently called for all federal agencies and institutions collecting biometrics to find ways of harmonizing them into a unified biometric database, before his mandate runs out in 2023.