The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the COVID-19 pandemic is delaying the continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise ahead of 2023 general election.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, said the commission had planned to resume the exercise in the first quarter of 2020.
There have been calls on the electoral umpire to continue registering voters after it suspended the exercise in the buildup to the 2019 elections.
A petition to that effect has more than 30,00 signatures so far.
Oyekanmi said the commission is not oblivious of carrying out the voter registration exercise amid the pandemic.
“This virus is still very much with us and we are not out of the woods yet. The CVR is a national exercise that requires the mobilization of a lot of equipment, materials and personnel. The 10 fingerprints of the registrants will be captured. This has implications in the context of the COVID-19 protocols,” he said.
The INEC spokesman, however, added that the commission would meet “in a matter of weeks” to consider all options and decide on “the best route to follow.”
“Definitely, INEC will resume the CVR exercise but we have to think carefully and put a safe and sustainable plan in place to do it,” he said.
As of 2018 when INEC suspended registration of voters, the country’s voting population stood at 84 million which translates to just 42 percent of the entire population of 198 million.