The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) received a significant boost to its operational capabilities as the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) presented cutting-edge electoral management tools. The EU-SDGN, in collaboration with Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), delivered these innovative tools to INEC headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
The suite of technology tools aims to bolster Nigeria’s electoral system, offering enhanced efficiency, transparency, and accuracy in the electoral process. The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, personally accepted the tools from Mr. Ruben Aguilera, the acting Head of Development Cooperation at the European Union Delegation.
The tools include the Collation and Returning Officers Management System (CROMS), the Election Results Management System (ERMS), the Political Parties Financial Reporting and Audit System (PFRAS), a Media Monitoring and Analysis tool, and an online application for voters and electoral officers. This comprehensive set of tools intends to streamline various aspects of the electoral process, promoting inclusivity and trust.
Yakubu expressed his gratitude to EU-SDGN for its continuous support and highlighted INEC’s commitment to closely examining the tools. He emphasized that the tools would be evaluated and potentially tailored to address the dynamic challenges encountered during elections.
EU-SDGN’s Phase II Project has been pivotal in enhancing INEC’s capabilities in several key areas. This collaboration has focused on strengthening planning and operational capacities, improving internal communication and external stakeholder engagements, enhancing the Electoral Institute’s capacity for training and research, and other critical aspects of the electoral process.
Yakubu praised DAI’s role in the development of these tools, stressing their potential to reshape various aspects of electoral activities. He highlighted the potential impact of tools like CROMS, ERMS, and Media Monitoring and Analysis, all of which are designed to enhance efficiency and reliability.
These tools, designed with close collaboration between DAI consultants and INEC’s technical team, address specific challenges faced during electoral activities. They represent a significant leap toward integrating technology for operational efficiency, diligence, and the overall enhancement of the electoral process.
Aguilera highlighted the EU’s commitment to improving Nigeria’s democratic system. He underlined the tangible impact of this collaboration, emphasizing that the management tools signify concrete steps toward strengthening democratic institutions. Aguilera reaffirmed the EU’s belief that robust democratic institutions are essential for national development and citizens’ well-being.
The EU’s steadfast support for electoral processes in Nigeria dates back to the country’s return to democratic governance in 1999. This collaboration between the EU and INEC continues to evolve, driven by the goal of building stronger democratic institutions and promoting inclusive governance.
As INEC reviews the 2023 general elections and derives lessons for future improvements, the EU looks forward to further collaborations and engagements that will pave the way for a more robust and inclusive electoral landscape in Nigeria.