The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will continue to explore areas of partnership with the Professional Printers of Nigeria, as it prepares for the 2019 general elections. The Commission’s Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu gave the assurance on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with a 20-member delegation of the group, led by Mr. Yahaya Amfani.
Amfani disclosed that the delegation decided to visit the Commission, following newspaper reports attributed to the Commission, which gave the impression that Nigerians printers do not have the required capacity to print the relevant materials needed for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
According to him, while it was true that Nigerian printers did not have enough capacity for INEC’s requirements some 15 years ago, “many of our members have now invested billion of naira to acquire the relevant equipment for large scale printing.”
Prof Yakubu told the delegation that so far, all the printing requirements for the 167 elections conducted by INEC since November 2015 were undertaken by indigenous Nigerian printers. He said: “None was contracted to foreign companies. If you did not have the capacity, we wouldn’t have worked closely with you on 167 occasions in the last one year.”
The INEC helmsman stated that no commitment could yet be given since the Commission was still in the process of planning for the elections. His words: “We have deliberately announced the dates for the next general elections for a purpose. Announcing the dates two years to the elections will enable us to prepare adequately. Preparations include the procurement of sensitive and non-sensitive materials, and it is on this note that I want to commend the effort of the professional printers for seeking an audience with the Commission. We will continue to partner with our Nigerian printers.”