By Aliyu Bello (Deputy Director, Publicity)
14th February, 2018
A special Technical Committee established by the Independent National Commission (INEC) to review and update the Communication Policy (CP), completed its assignment on 14th February after two days of rigorous roundtable deliberations in Lagos.
The Commission had, between June 5 and 6 2017, convened a well-attended workshop that reviewed the policy for the first time since its production in 2013. The review workshop made several recommendations and resolutions that were subsequently considered by the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC).
The Committee thereafter approved the inauguration of a special Technical Committee, made up of external resource persons and experienced internal staff to consider the recommendations and come up with a draft document capable of being adopted as the new Communication policy.
Declaring the meeting open, National Commissioner and Chairman, IVEC, Prince Solomon Soyebi described the meeting as “ a third level review” with the goal of producing what would be presented as a final document to the Commission.
Prince Soyebi described the composition of the Committee as one of the sources of its strengths and congratulated the old members who participated in producing the initial policy for being part of the review, just as he welcomed new members whose resourcefulness were needed to add value to the existing document.
Earlier in a welcome address, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Mr Sam Olumekun thanked the participants for choosing Lagos as the venue and reiterated the need for the review.
He said: “The need for a sound Communication Policy, especially in a heterogeneous society as ours cannot be over-emphasized. The laws and regulations governing the electoral process are dynamic and change from time to time, and it is against this backdrop that the round table is timely.
Of particular importance, according to him, is vertical communication between the Headquarters and State/Local Government Area offices. “This requires a thorough review,” he added.
In his goodwill message, the Project Director, European Centre for Electoral Support in Nigeria (ECES), the sponsors of the meeting, David Le Norte, said “ECES is proud to be associated with the main objective of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme, which seeks the reinforcement of democracy in Nigeria through enhancing effective and legitimate democratic institutions achieved by cumulative actions within the five components of the programme.”
The participants include meeting Dr Akin Akingbulu, Dr Tom Adaba, Mr. Obadiah Tohomdet, Kayode Idowu, Lanre Arogundade, Ibiba Don Pedro and Ahmed Balarabe Sa’id.
Others are: Prof Mohammed Kuna, Prof Bolade Eyinla, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, Rotimi Oyekanmi, Andy Ezeani, Osaretin Imahierobo, Victor Aluko, Aliyu Bello, Mohammed Musa and Rifkatu Duku.
The meeting also benefitted from the presence and active participation of National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna, who was also part of the team that produced the initial Policy.