The National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi, commenced three-day training on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for its staff in the state.
Prof. Godswill Obioma, the State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), who declared the workshop open, said that the initiative was to train and equip the staff with basic knowledge of computer and application of ICT.
According to him, the training is part of strategies being put in place to ensure credible, free, fair and efficient conduct of the 2019 general elections.
He said that the ICT training was the 5th batch in the series, slated to enhance the capacity of the staff of the commission.
He said that 300 staff of the commission at its headquarters in Abakaliki would first undergo the training before it would be stepped down to the staff at the various local government areas.
“Election is a process and the training we are organising for our staff is to equip and enhance their skills and capacity for efficient and effective election management.
“This is the 5th batch in a series of training, lined up for the staff of the commission in the build up to the 2019 general elections.
“We are concentrating on equipping the staff with knowledge of computer in this 5th batch and we identified and isolated those staff without any knowledge about computer and ICT.
“We are going to train them on basic computer application for three days, and we are starting with 35 of them and each set will be trained for three days until we train all our 300 staff.
“We expect that the over 300 staff stationed at the headquarters will undergo the training programme before we move down to the local government areas to train our staff there.
“Voting and issues about election have become electronic-based, hence the need for the commission to build capacity of its staff to cope with the new trend,” Obioma said.
He said that the commission had improved on its card-reader machines, saying that the use of the machine and electronic voting in 2019 would be hitch-free and more efficient.
“The application of the electronic voting and the use of card-readers have been discovered to reduce election fraud and other irregularities associated with manual voting.
“We have improved on our systems; the Federal Government is going to change and strengthen the card-readers, and the card-reader which was introduced in 2015 general elections has depressed considerably the issues of malpractices in elections,” he added.
Obioma urged the trainees to pay attention, adding that the commission was depending on them to deliver on its mandate of conducting credible, free, fair and acceptable polls in 2019.