Election results: Internet coverage for electronic transmission inadequate -NCC

Election results: Internet coverage for electronic transmission inadequate -NCC
Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has disclosed that about 49.7 per cent of national spread lacks Internet coverage which will be required for real-time electronic transmission of election results.

The commission made this known on Friday during a session with the House of Representatives over the suitability of the use of electronic devices for the transmission of election results in the country.

The session was a part of ongoing discussion in the legislature as being provided in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The commission which was invited for the session was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska and the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu.

Speaking at the session, Maska, who addressed members of the lower chamber, said less than 50 per cent of the country enjoyed 3G Internet coverage for which electronic transmission of results could rely on.

He explained that as at 2018 the Commission carried out a survey of 109,000 polling units.

Maska said it was discovered during the exercise that the surveyed polling unit areas were covered mostly by the 3G and 2G networks, which represented about 50.3 per cent of the entire country.

That, he pointed out, meant that about 49.7% of the national spread did not have Internet coverage, which would be required for real-time electronic transmission of electoral results.

Asked if 2G technology could be used for electronic transmission of results, Engr. Maska said only 3G could transmit results effectively.

He however said he wished the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was around to answer the same question as well.

It would be recalled that the NCC has been empowered in the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, to determine the suitability of network to be used for the electronic transmission of election results.

The recommendation of the NCC, it was approved, would be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly.