NCC to Reps: Only 3G could transmit election results effectively

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC Friday honoured the invitation by House of Representatives as part of the steps to resolve stalemate over electronic transfer of election results.The raucous stalemate had arisen Thursday as Reps sought to finalise work on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The Commission was represented before the House members by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Engr. Ubale Maska and the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Adeleke Adewolu.

When Reps asked the NCC expert, if 2G technology could be used for electronic transmission of results, Engr. Maska said though he wished the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was around to answer, however, only 3G could transmit results effectively.

It could be recalled that the House had, on Thursday, July 15, 2021, invited the NCC to brief it on the nation’s network coverage before continuing debate on the contentious provision of electronic transmission of results during elections.

Reports said officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission on Friday, July 16, 2021, who responded to the  summon swiftly were  questioned by the House of Representatives over the suitability of the use of electronic devices for the transmission of election results in the country as part of ongoing discussion in the House as being provided in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Maska, who spoke on behalf of the team, told members that less than 50% of the country enjoys 3G Internet coverage for which electronic transmission of results could rely on.

He recalled that as at 2018, when the Commission carried out a survey of 109,000 polling units, of the country’s 119,000 polling units were covered.

Maska further said the surveyed polling unit areas were covered mostly by the 3G and 2G networks, which represents about 50.3% of the entire country.

According to him, about 49.7% of the national spread did not have Internet coverage, which will be required for real-time electronic transmission of electoral results.