The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is making progress on logistics for the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.

The Commission had announced the postponement of the elections hours before they were scheduled to begin on February 16, 2019.

The elections were postponed by one week and rescheduled for February 23, 2019, while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections would take place on March 9, 2019.

INEC had blamed logistics issues as one of the reasons for the postponement.

However, at press briefing on Wednesday on the updated preparation for the elections, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, said the commission was making improvement on logistics.

He said: “At yesterday’s briefing, we reported that we achieved 95 per cent configuration of the smart card readers nationwide. For those who might wonder why we are laying so much emphasis on the smart card readers, particularly the international observers, I want to say that the card readers were introduced in 2015 to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). They are configured to a specific polling unit and only opened for use at 8 in the morning on election day. They automatically shut down by 10pm in order to forestall any illegal use of the card readers before the appointed time of election; that is why we have to reconfigure them to the new date of Saturday, the 23rd of March.

“As I said earlier yesterday, I reported 95 per cent completion of the configuration. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score. Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that our state offices had commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and witness the batching of materials according to local government areas. Reports we received from the state indicate full compliance. So, on this score, we are good to go.

“Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that having moved the sensitive materials to the 37 states and the federal capital territory. The forward deployment to the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide will commence today, Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, and be concluded tomorrow Thursday, 21st February, 2019. Already ten states, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katisina, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Taraba, have commenced the movement of materials to the local government areas today. Other states will do so and conclude tomorrow. We will give a full rendition of movement to local government areas across all the states of the federation at the 3pm briefing tomorrow.

“We have been making good progress on logistics. All other arrangements for the movement of personnel from the local government areas to the wards are on course and we will also fully brief you tomorrow at 3pm.”

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