The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it would work with the 9th National Assembly to review and strengthen the electoral laws of Nigeria.
The commission also said it would immediately commence work on the aftermath of the 2019 general elections and set a roadmap for the general elections in 2023.
The tendency to leave electoral reform, particularly the review of electoral framework close to the elections, INEC said, had most often, left it with little time to develop processes including regulations and guidelines.
The organisation said such methods had impeded consultation with stakeholders, effective voter education including sensitisation, staff training and organised deployment for the elections.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said these at the Main Hall (Africa Hall) of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, while presenting certificates to Senators-elect.
He said, “As a matter of urgency, the commission will begin work on post-2019 elections review and roadmap to 2023. There is a lot of work, but very little time available. As a process governed by law, the success of election in Nigeria depends, to a large extent, on the electoral legal framework and most importantly in ensuring adherence to the law.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to work with the National Assembly to review and strengthen our electoral law. But, I want to appeal to the Senators-elect to please start work early and conclude work on the electoral framework in a good time well ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“The tendency to delay electoral reform particularly, the review of electoral framework until it is too close to the elections, leave the commission with little time to develop processes including regulations and guidelines, make required consultation with stakeholders, embark on effective voter education including sensitisation, train staff and organised deployment for the elections.
“I am glad that among the Senators-elect are Senators that we have worked very closely with and some of them have taken initiative or even sponsored private member bills to advance the cause of electoral reform.
“We look forward to working very closely with you in the next (9th) Senate. However, all these are matters to be considered; I hope we will do so in earnest, but today (Thursday) is your day. I congratulate you and I wish you well in the service of our dear nation.”