In preparation for the 2023 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has converted some of its voting points to polling units, increasing the number of Nigeria’s polling units from 119,973 to 176,846.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
The chairman who started by giving the history of creating and expanding polling units in Nigeria said:
“After wide-ranging consultations with stakeholders and fieldwork by our officials, the 56,872 voting points and voting point settlements were converted and added to the existing 119,974 Polling Units.
“Consequently, the commission is glad to report that 25 years since the current polling units were created in 1996, the hard nut is finally and successfully cracked after several unsuccessful attempts. Nigeria now has 176,846 full-fledged polling units,” he said.
Yakubu further gave the reason for the increase stating that the location and number of polling units in the country has been a source of concern for the commission as it hopes to improve voter participation in elections.
“Before 2010, the commission operated on a round figure of approximately 120,000 polling units. However, a census undertaken by the Commission before the 2011 general election arrived at the precise figure of 119,973 polling units.
“Following several unsuccessful attempts to create additional polling units despite the obvious pressure from the increased number of registered voters, the commission established voting points and voting point settlements across the states and the federal capital territory (FCT) as a pragmatic response to necessity.
“The voting points were tied to the existing polling units and voting point settlements. The number of registered voters in a polling unit and the voting point settlement in the FCT, was used to determine their voting points, based on the upper and lower thresholds of 500 and 750 voters respectively.
“These were also the limits used for the 2019 general election. The number of new polling units in a state is the number of voting points aggregated from those polling units having voting points.” He said.