The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been told to make sure the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) is fully operation ahead of the 2023 general election.
Kabiru Gaya, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of BVAS in several polling units during the recently completed Anambra Governorship election.
He stated that his Committee has reached an agreement with INEC to re-test the machines in 2022 ahead of the general election in 2023.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, was also disappointed by the mishaps the system caused as Gaya told lawmakers that the electoral umpire will work to repair the machines before any election in Nigeria.
Gaya made his submission at the National Assembly after he presented the report of his Committee to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.
In his words: “We keenly watched the Anambra governorship election and we realised that BIVAS have serious problems.
“We are surprised that the machines malfunctioned at the Anambra governorship election because they worked perfectly when INEC demonstrated them for us at the Committee.
“We have agreed to try the machines in other elections coming up in 2022 so as to determine their functionality before the 2023 general election.
“We still have the Ekiti and Osun elections coming up. However, INEC is already working on the solution so that we would not have problems in 2023.
“I will not agree that it is a case of sabotage because it is an electronic device that could fail but we already have provisions for spare. If a machine fails, a new one would be brought in.
“It is even good that it happened in the Anambra governorship election. If it had happened at the general election, it would have been catastrophic.
“Unlike in the past, when funds for elections were released a few weeks to the exercise, this time, we specifically mentioned that part of the funds meant for the election must be provided a year before the election.
“That is why we have a proposal for partial release of N100 billion for the 2023 general election in the 2022 budget. We are hoping that we could get further funding before the election.