Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced it intends to transmit the results of next year’s general elections via satellite. To achieve this, it is seeking a partnership with NIGCOMSAT – Nigerian government-owned satellite company.
This was revealed by the commission’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while on a courtesy visit to the office of NIGCOMSAT Managing Director, Mrs Abimbola Alade. According to Yakubu, while INEC appreciated the tremendous reach of the telecommunications operators, some polling Units were still located in places where third and fourth generation networks were not available for real time electronic transmission of results.
“As we prepare for the 2019 general elections, INEC wishes to collaborate with NIGCOMSAT in the following areas:
“Extension of satellite coverage in areas currently not covered by 3G and 4G network (the so called black spots) so that INEC can transmit election results from polling units nationwide irrespective of location.
“INEC (also) wishes to collaborate with NIGCOMSAT on voter education and sensitisation through electronic message display.’’
“It is for this reason that we wish to leverage on the capacity of NIGCOMSAT to provide a wide range of telecommunication services.
“In particular, your broadband service offers a tremendous flexible bandwidth capacity that can be deployed quickly to almost anywhere, including hard-to-reach and temporary locations.
“These are invaluable to the work of INEC.
“Working in partnership with the Nigerian Communication Commission as well as the telecommunication operators, we believe the challenges to the seamless transmission of results are not insurmountable.
“We are similarly aware that NIGCOMSAT has the capacity for Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting, multimedia, video streaming, hotspot, event services, in-door and outdoor electronic message display.
“These services are invaluable to our work and mobilisation for elections.”
Responding, Alade said NIGCOMSAT is ready to partner with INEC to ensure seamless real time electronic transmission of election results.
“We are very delighted that we can be of service to you and to be able to drive the democracy of Nigeria to a new and greater height. We want to be your partner; we want to work with you. I know you want to transmit all results electronically, you want to be as transparent as possible; we are ready to partner with you.”