Abuja – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) plans to offer an online training and certification programme for persons that will be enlisted as informal staff in future elections.
Officials from the electoral body said this was part of concerted efforts to professionalise electoral duties and, thereby, enhance the integrity of elections in Nigeria.
According to Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, T Electoral Institute (TEI), a training and research agency of INEC, will conduct the programme.
“When the programme comes on stream, those with such certification will stand a better chance of being recruited as ad hoc staff in future elections,” Idowu said.
Professor Jega said inadequacy or lack of professionalism among electoral officials was one of the major challenges confronting INEC in its quest to enhance democracy.
“Faced with this particular challenge, an electoral management body (EMB) may do one, some or all of the following: recruitment to regenerate staff, training and retraining, specialized skills provisioning, restructuring and reorganization.”
According to him, there are enormous challenges of capacity building and professionalization of staff. It is to address these challenges, he said, that the Commission has repositioned The Electoral Institute to be an excellent resource center for research and training of electoral staff - not only for INEC, but also for State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and other EMBs in the West African sub-region.
“We are also drawing lessons from other EMBs and especially countries with existing Institutes such as India, Mexico and South Africa. Additionally, we are establishing or strengthening partnerships with local academic institutions, as well as international organizations, to leverage existing resources for capacity building and professional development of INEC,” he added.
At another Plenary Session during the event electoral bodied attended in Incheon, South Korea, the Director of Electoral Programs, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Pat Merloe, lauded INEC for leading the way in the deployment of social media platforms for citizens engagement as well as voter and civic education.
More than 400 participants, including chairpersons of EMBs from across the globe, attended the conference, which was preceded by the inaugural assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
– CAJ News