…We can’t guaranteed adequate coverage for electronic transmission of results, Says NCC
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Officials, on Friday, July 16, 2021, delibrated with House of Representatives on the suitability of the use of electronic devices for the transmission of election results in the country as part of ongoing discussion in the House as being provided in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) officials said that less than 50% of Nigerians and non-Nigerians in the country enjoyed 3G Internet coverage for which electronic transmission of results could rely on at a public hearing organized by the House of Representatives over Electronic Transmission of Election Results in the country.
The Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska, who spoke on behalf of the team, told members of the House of Representatives that as at 2018, when the Commission carried out a survey of 109,000 polling units, of the country’s 119,000 polling units were covered.
He said the surveyed polling unit areas were covered mostly by the 3G and 2G networks, which represented about 50.3% of the entire country.
He maintained that about 49.7% of the national spread did not have Internet coverage, which will be required for real-time electronic transmission of electoral results.
Asked if 2G technology could be used for electronic transmission of results, Engr. Maska said though he wished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was around to answer, however, only 3G could transmit results effectively.
Officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission were summoned and questioned by the House of Representatives over the suitability of the use of electronic devices for the transmission of election results in the country as part of ongoing discussion in the House as being provided in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The House had, on Thursday, July 15, 2021, invited the NCC to brief it on the nation’s network coverage before continuing debate on the contentious provision of electronic transmission of results during elections.
The Commission was represented at the public hearing by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska and the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu.
The Senate had on Thursday passed the bill empowering NCC to certify that national coverage is adequate and secure before INEC can decide to deploy the use of electronic transmission.
The issue which has divided the lawmakers at both chambers of the National Assembly along party lines with the members of the opposition parties insisting on the adoption of the electronic transmission of election results as a way of ensuring integrity of the electoral process and members of the ruling APC standing against it.