The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lamented that about 20million Permanent Voter Card (PVC) are still lying unclaimed in its vault awaiting collection by the owners across the country.
INEC National Commissioner of FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau States, Mohammed Haruna, disclosed this on Tuesday at the launch of a campaign to drive the collection of PVCs and increase participation in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise.
He stated that statistics by INEC in 2019 showed that over 84 million PVCs were printed.
Of the figure, the INEC Commissioner explained that over 72 million were collected while over 11 million voter cards were left uncollected.Giving a breakdown of the figure, the South-West had the highest number of uncollected PVCs with over 3.4 million, followed by the North-West with over 1.9 million then the South-South with over 1.7 million.
While the North-Central had about 1.5 million uncollected cards, the South-East recorded over 1.4 million, the North-East had over 800,000 and the FCT had about 318,000 uncollected voter’s cards.
“Ahead of the 2019 general elections, there were 84 million PVCs. I think close to 20 million (PVCs have not been collected),” he said.
“It may be a small percentage but in terms of absolute number, that’s huge. 20 million is probably more than the voters of so many West African countries put together.”
To change the narrative, Nessaction, a civil society organisation is launching a Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and the PVC collection campaign in collaboration with INEC, United Nations Development Programme and YIAGA Africa to drive collection in the FCT and Nasarawa State.
In April, INEC announced a total of over 1.8 million newly PVCs, comprising over 1.3 million cards of genuine, new registrants and 464,340 PVCs for verified applicants for transfer or replacement of cards were ready for collection.