Saturday, 24 May 2014
INEC INAUGURATES 15 MEMBER NATIONAL INTERAGENCY ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON VOTER EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY (NICVEP)
The Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a 15 member National Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP), as part of its efforts geared towards mainstreaming voters, mobilizing and enlightening Nigerian citizens on the electoral processes ahead of 2015 general Elections.
Speaking at the inauguration at the conference hall of the INEC headquarters Abuja, on the 16th May, 2014, Professor Attahiru Jega, the INEC Chairman said that NICVEP will help INEC fulfil its statutory mandate as specified in sections 2 and 154 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). This Act empowers the Commission to conduct voter and civic education as well as promote knowledge of sound democratic practices. He further stated that the inauguration of the National Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP) is one of the several events listed in our Strategic Plan 2012-2016 geared towards the preparations that would engender free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in 2015.
While reassuring Nigerians of the Commission’s determination to conduct free, fair and credible elections, the INEC Chairman identified voter education as central to fulfilling this promise. He noted that for the first time, the Commission will be engaging a wide range of agencies at a multilateral level with the task of educating, enlightening and mainstreaming voters in Nigeria in a formal and structured manner. This is a welcome development in Election Administration and Management in Nigeria.
Professor Jega, identified the low level of awareness on electoral matters by citizens as one of the major reasons for apathy which results to low participation but expressed optimism that the NICVEP in executing its mandate will discourage apathy. This will further promote positive attitudes and response from the citizenry and encourage compliance with regulations as well as discourage violence and all forms of malpractices.
Earlier, the National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Publicity Committee (IPC) of Inec, Dr. Chris Iyimoga said that it is indeed the realization that INEC cannot singlehandedly undertake or achieve effective mobilization and voter education with desired reach that gave birth to NICVEP. The Membership of NICVEP is drawn from INEC, relevant Government agencies and professional bodies. Each is meant to bring its considerable knowledge, expertise, resources and reach to cover every nook and cranny of the country.
The membership of the committee, (NICVEP) at the national level is drawn from the following organisations:
1. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC);
2. National Orientation Agency;
3. Federal Ministry of Information;
4. Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development;
5. Federal Ministry of Communication;
6. Federal Ministry of Education;
7. National Broadcasting Commission;
8. Nigerian Communication Commission;
9. Nigerian Television Authority;
10. Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria;
11. News Agency of Nigeria;
12. Nigerian Guild of Editors;
13. Nigerian Labour Congress;
14. Nigerian Union of Journalists; and
15. Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
The Committee will be guided by the following terms of reference in carrying out its functions:
a. Review the existing frame-work and advice the Commission on areas of improvement;
b. Proffer advice on effective strategies for public enlightenment and voter education;
c. Develope a medium to long-term frame work for civic and voter education;
d. Identify various organizations and agencies capable of undertaking voter education activities and recommend appropriate support for them;
e. Identify those organizations and agencies that can contribute resources to voter education and develop strategies for engaging them;
f. Assist in the design and provision of materials for voter education as well as their distribution and dissemination to target groups;
g. Monitor the implementation of voter education strategies to ensure the realization of set goals;
h. Encourage the pulling of resources and proper utilization of available channels and platforms for voter education; and
i. Undertake periodic review of voter education activities in the country.
The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, represented by the Director Political and Civic Education NOA, Prince C.I.A Anene, responded on behalf of other agencies. He commended INEC for giving them the opportunity to contribute to deepening democracy in the country.
He said the previous success recorded by the Commission was brought about by its partnering with relevant stakeholders. He added that the task of voter education was enormous but with the inauguration of a larger body such as NICVEP, the aim of achieving free, fair and credible elections come 2015, will be actualized.
Nneka O. Eluogu