New Poll Reveals Low Rate of PVC Collection

Abuja, Nigeria. September 18th, 2018 – A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that almost 7 in 10 Nigerians (68 percent) who registered since the commencement of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise in April, 2017 are yet to collect their permanent voter’s card (PVC). Most people who are yet to collect their PVCs reported that they have checked but were told by INEC officials that their PVCs were not yet ready for collection. However, INEC’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, disclosed in Abuja on May 11th 2018, that PVCs for citizens who registered between April and December 2017 have been ready for collection since May 21st, 2018.[1]  

Given the low collection of PVCs, 34 percent of the electorates suggested that INEC should send text messages to citizens whose PVCs are ready, recruit more ad-hoc staff (25 percent) and create more collection centers across the country (15 percent) amongst other recommendations to boost collection of PVCs. Furthermore, this also underlines the importance for INEC and other stakeholders to make concerted effort in increasing awareness on the need for electorates to collect their PVCs ahead of the 2019 elections which is just around the corner. These were some of the key highlights from the Permanent Voter’s Card Collection Poll recently conducted in the week commencing August 27th, 2018.

Background

The Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) which was introduced in April 2017 was an exercise meant for the registration of citizens who turned 18 years of age after the last registration exercise; or those who for one reason or another could not register in the previous exercises. The 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) mandates the Commission to carry out CVR exercises nationwide. INEC on August 28, 2018 disclosed that they have registered 13.6 million people, 854,362 people have collected their PVCs while 696,643 people have requested for transfer of their polling centers and an additional 1 million people have requested for replacement. The gender analysis of new registrants indicates that females accounted for the larger proportion of 7.3 million while males accounted for 6.2 million[3]. Despite the claim that more than 85 million Nigerians have been registered with 13 million registered under the just concluded CVR exercise, there are more than 50 million unregistered eligible voters in Nigeria[4]. 

In less than 6 months, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct a nationwide election that would see Nigerians, take to the polls to decide their leaders. The sensitization on how to register for and get a Permanent Voter Card (PVC) has been loud from INEC, Non-Governmental Organizations and even aspirants. However, there have been numerous complaints from Nigerians about the human-induced difficulties that have made the PVC registration and collection almost impossible for many. Against this background, NOIPOlls conducted this public opinion poll to ascertain the level of PVC collection nationwide. 

Poll Findings

The poll gauged the percentage of Nigerians who had registered since the commencement of the CVR in April 2017 and the result indicated that almost 4 in 10 Nigerians (38 percent) have registered since the commencement of the 2017 CVR exercise while 44 percent stated that they already have a PVC, 10 percent reported that they have not registered at all while only 2 percent applied for the transfer of their PVCs. 

Analysis by geo-political zone showed that while the southern region accounted for the greater proportion of electorates who registered since the commencement of the CVR in April 2017, the northern region had the larger share of electorates who already have their PVCs. This increased registration in the southern region may be an effect of voter education and the growing interest amongst Nigerians regarding responsive and inclusive governance, patriotism and desire to elect responsible leaders. 

As at May 2018, INEC disclosed that 4 million PVCs were ready for collection for citizens who registered between April and December 2017[6] and poll result showed that only 32 percent had collected their PVCs while 68 percent have not. Analysis by age-group revealed that electorates aged 18 – 25 years have the largest proportion of Nigerians who have collected their PVCs. This is reflective of the growing desire for youth participation in politics and governance in Nigerians.

A cross analysis of electorates who registered since the commencement of CVR exercise and those who have collected their PVCs indicate that a higher percentage of Nigerians are yet to collect their PVCs. 

Subsequently, 68 percent of respondents who have not collected their PVCs were further asked why they have not collected it and a larger proportion of the respondents mentioned that they checked but were told that it wasn’t ready yet. 23 percent stated that they the collection centers were over crowded, 14 percent disclosed that they just registered while 13 percent mentioned that they do not have spare time for collecting their PVCs amongst other reasons.

The poll further assessed the perception of the respondents regarding their knowledge of anyone who registered within the same period and have collected their PVC. FindingS revealed that 55 percent of the respondents know a registrant who registered within the same period and has collected their PVCs.

Furthermore, having established from the poll results that a larger proportion of Nigerians are yet to collect their PVCs, the poll also revealed that 34 percent of Nigerians recommended that INEC should send text messages to electorates whose PVCs are ready. An additional 23 percent cited the recruitment of more ad-hoc staff INEC, 15 percent stated that INEC should provide more centers for PVC collection while, 13 percent advocated that INEC should create more awareness on PVC collection centers amongst other recommendations.

In conclusion, the poll has shown that a larger proportion of electorates who participated in the CVR which commenced in April, 2017 are yet to collect their PVCs. In order not to disenfranchise those who have registered, INEC and other concerned stakeholders are encouraged to create more awareness on PVC collection as well as send text messages to citizens whose PVCs are ready for collection as recommended by some the electorates. Citizens on their part should ensure that they participate in electoral processes by collecting their PVCs to enable them exercise their civic duties.

The poll also revealed that a significant proportion (10 percent) of potential voters did not register hence, will not participate in the 2019 general elections. This calls for more proactive measures on INEC’s part and other stakeholders towards ensuring that every Nigerian aged 18 year and above prior to any election year be registered. Finally, INEC should ensure that the collection processes and timing are more effective and convenient for all citizens. 

Survey Methods

The Poll was conducted in the week commencing August 27th, 2018. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 4.65%. NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com 

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. 

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact or for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking. 

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[1] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/268098-registered-voters-to-get-pvcs-may-21-inec.html

[2] http://www.inecnigeria.org/?page_id=5198

[3] https://inecnews.com/

[4] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/278118-inec-registers-over-10-million-new-voters-official.html

[5] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/278118-inec-registers-over-10-million-new-voters-official.html

[6] https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/268098-registered-voters-to-get-pvcs-may-21-inec.html