Electronic Transmission Of Results Doubtful, 301 LGAs Lack Internet Facility

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s plan to transmit election results electronically in 2023 is currently doubtful as the Federal Government has revealed that only 473 out of 774 local government areas in the country have Internet access.

By implication, 301 local government areas have no Internet access, thus transmitting election results in those areas may not be possible in 2023 even if the Electoral Act is amended.

According to the National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 launched last week by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and obtained by The PUNCH, the government projects that 697 LGAs will have Internet access by 2023. The 2023 elections are expected to hold in February.

In a tabular illustration in the development plan, the government pegged 473 as the baseline for the number of LGAs with Internet connection. This implies that the government targets providing Internet access to an additional 224 LGAs with Internet access by 2023.

When contacted, experts, who spoke to our correspondents, explained what government must do to ensure electronic transfer of election results in the 301 LGAs.

Experts list conditions, say satellite technology can cover LGAs without Internet
Experts at the Alliance for Affordable Internet listed conditions that must be met to ensure transmission of results in the 301 LGAs.

They advised the Federal Government to consider using satellite technology in the transmission of results electronically in the 2023 elections.

They also noted that there was no 3G access in over 300 LGAs in Nigeria, adding that this was part of the issues which the Nigerian Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 was put together to address.

The National Coordinator for Alliance for Affordable Internet, who served as the immediate past President of The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Olusola Teniola, told one of our correspondents that it was possible to transmit results electronically as far as the pressing issues were addressed.

He said, “This number of LGAs that have not been covered was already captured in the Nigerian Broadband Plan of 2020 to 2025 and it is fairly straightforward.

“The issue is that there isn’t any tangible 3G access in these LGA and the idea now is to focus over the next six to nine months in ensuring that at least one of our operators will be able to provide service in those areas.

“This is in addition to satellite technology, which can cover all of those areas that do not have Internet at the moment.

“That means that on the day of the election, the transmission of results can be done via satellite on a specific time, location and based on the fact that we are just using it for the elections.

“If we are looking for continuous transmission, obviously we are looking at trying to ensure that there is infrastructure to provide continuous service.

And that is the focus of the Nigerian Broadband Plan. It is not a solution for just one specific application but for continuous applications for those who are offline, among others. So we want to block that gap through the plan.”

He encouraged the government to work with ICT professionals in trying to provide the required services in the LGAs and expressed hope that the target of electronic transmission of results would be achieved in 2023.

INEC can use other platforms where Internet access is not available – Olurode
On his part, a former National Commissioner of INEC, Prof Lai Olurode, said lack of Internet facilities in some local government areas posed no threat to transmission of results, as INEC had liberty to use other platforms where Internet access was not available.

Olurode, who said no region of the country should be allowed to hold down others in terms of conduct of polls, noted that in places with no internet facilities, election results could be transmitted through manual platforms.

He said, “The law on electronic transmission of result has been amended by the National Assembly to give INEC the power to determine adopt electronic transmission of result as it is convenient.

“It is not compulsory that we should have e-transmission of results across the country. In fact, if anything is wrong with our election, it is the uniformity without variation.”

Also, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Ikechukwu Nnamani, said, “It is possible for them to extend Internet access to these areas within their time frame. You install satellite dishes all over the country in less than one week. It is very possible, depending on the technology.

And since the government has said they would increase access, they would.”

A telecom engineer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It is very possible. It is a matter of will from the government.

“The government itself cannot do it, it has to rely on the Mobile Network Operators, and there is a criterion for deploying to any location. Which has to do with return on investment. The cost of deploying a telecom infrastructure to an environment where very few people make calls is high.

“But the government through the Nigerian Communications Commission has made provisions for the Universal Service Provision Fund funds to subsidies for these investments. There is also the technology. There is a new technology that you can deploy to these local government within the shortest possible time, rural telephony. And they can have access to those places.

“The licences that the NCC has issued to most of the MNOs allow them to deploy internet services via satellite infrastructure to these locations. But everyone wants to make money, no one wants to go to areas where they cannot make money. The government is supposed to push for this but it hasn’t.”

However, INEC had argued that it could devise means of transmitting results in areas with no Internet access.

In a chat with The PUNCH on Tuesday, INEC’s National Commissioner for Voter Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, said the commission was capable of transmitting results electronically.

Okoye said, “The commission has been consistent, robust and clear on its position relating to electronic transmission of election results. We uploaded the results of Edo, Ondo and Anambra governorship elections to our result viewing portal.

“We uploaded the results of several senatorial, House of Representatives and state assembly elections. We uploaded results from polling units in riverine areas. We uploaded results from polling units in conflict areas. We uploaded results from polling units in mountainous areas and valleys.

“The new law will only remove impediments and obstacles to the electronic collation of results.”

In a document released in November by INEC titled, ‘Position Paper No. 1/2021. Electronic Transmission of Election Results’, INEC further claimed that 2G technology was enough to transmit results electronically.

The commission noted that while 3G and 4G would be faster, 2G could also do it even though it would be slower.

An ICT expert and Senior Partner of e86 Limited, Olugbenga Odeyemi, said that the lack of Internet access in a few local governments should not hamper the transmission of election results electronically.

He further said that there would always be room for growth and the government can start with what it has with plans to expand to other local government areas.

“We have over 700 local governments. If about 100 are not able to transmit, I don’t think we should stop other local governments from transmitting electronically. Even in developed countries, we find that there are other means of voting like voting through ATM-like machines, and it is not everywhere. It is only in big cities.

“What that means is that we have to start from wherever we can. That is the idea of technology. There is always room for growth. So, if over 500 local governments can transmit results electronically, we can begin with that and grow to a point where we have all local governments transmitting. I don’t think we should hold back because a few local governments don’t have internet access,” he said.

Odeyemi also said that certain issues impede the provision of internet access, and the government needs to make efforts to address these challenges and ensure everyone has internet access in the country.

He said, “If we look at why these communities don’t have Internet access in 2021, there are different issues. Some are because of government failures and some because of those communities. One of the issues is probably the lack of power supply in those communities. If telecom providers will have to invest in those communities, there will have to invest so much and not get back much in return because of the area.

“What we should all do is to join hands together and move such communities forward. Having internet access should be a basic amenity.”

Also speaking with The PUNCH, the Founder, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, said Nigeria had over 50 per cent Internet connectivity. He, however, said there was a need for Nigeria to invest in infrastructure.

Itodo argued that there were other means of result transmission such as SMS and USSD.

He said, “But my point is, you don’t need the Internet to transmit results. There are different systems for results transmission. You can use SMS or USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) to transmit election results. There are over 100 million subscribers in this country. So, it’s not just the Internet. You don’t need Internet connectivity to transmit results.

“It just depends on the system that you have. And sometimes, you can also use 2G or 3G to transmit some amount of data. In any case, we know there are dark spots. In those dark spots, if you need to transmit results to any of those places, you can leave there to where you have connectivity before you upload or transmit them.

“That’s what is obtainable and that’s good practice in different parts of the world. So, yes, we understand there is this level of penetration. But Nigeria has what it takes to ensure effective deployment of technology for elections.”

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, had on December 21 at a meeting with resident electoral commissioners said the commission would continue to deepen the use of technology in the conduct of elections, especially the electronic transmission of polls results and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System.

He explained that the uploading of Polling Unit results on the commission’s Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on Election Day, has come to stay.

Besides direct primaries, another controversial provision in the Electoral Act Amendment bill, which the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), refused to sign two weeks ago, is the electronic transfer of election results, which generated different reactions before it was passed by the National Assembly.

The Senate had also in its version, empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission to determine the electronic transmission of election results.

The House did not give such powers to the NCC in its version.

The provision caused an outrage, with many calling on the Senate to follow the example of the House of Representatives which adopted the use of technology “where practicable.”

The development led to the setting up of a conference committee.

In the conference committee report, both chambers of the National Assembly empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission to determine the best mode to transmit election results

TB Joshua, Tiwa Savage, Obi Cubana, Sound Sultan Makes Google 2021 Top Trend

Google has announced the results of its 2021 Year in Search, showing the most searched terms, topics and questions by Nigerians in the year 2021.

Google’s 2021 Year in Search compiles the moments, people, topics, events, and places that capture the world’s attention each year.

As the pandemic entered its second year, Nigerians used the internet to search for answers and information that revealed their interest in topics related to music, movies, TV shows, sports, food, celebrity personalities, pop culture and lifestyle.

Here are the trending searches in 2021:

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

TB Joshua

La Liga

EPL

Champions League

Tiwa Savage

Obi Cubana

Sound Sultan

Top trending people

Tiwa Savage

Obi Cubana

Sunday Igboho

Romelu Lukaku

Nnamdi Kanu

Elon Musk

Baba Ijesha

Omah Lay

Raphael Varane

Fabrizio Romano

Top trending musicians

Tiwa Savage

Omah Lay

Lil Nas X

Ruger

Ayra Starr

Buju

Bobby Shmurda

Seyi Shay

Chidinma Ekile

Naira Marley

Top lyrics

Alcohol lyrics

Bloody Samaritan lyrics

My Baby Bad My Baby Good lyrics

Peru lyrics

Infinity lyrics

Cash App lyrics

Jowo lyrics

Big Thug Boys lyrics

Feeling lyrics

Top trending athletes

Romelu Lukaku

Raphael Varane

Christian Eriksen

Ben White

Earling Haaland

Xavi

Saul Niguez

Thomas Tuchel

Naomi Osaka

Jules Koundé

Top Nollywood Actors

Destiny Etiko

Zubby Michael

Pere

Tonto Dikeh

Iyabo Ojo

Olu Jacobs

Nafisa Abdullahi

Jim Iyke

Nancy Isime

Alex Ekubo

Top EPL teams

Chelsea F.C.

Manchester City F.C.

Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Leicester City F.C.

Everton F.C.

West Ham United F.C.

Aston Villa F.C.

Newcastle United F.C.

Southampton F.C.

Leeds United

Top recipe

Pornstar martini cocktail recipe

Pancake recipe

Chocolate cake recipe

Puff puff recipe

Fried rice recipe

Egusi soup recipe

Oha soup recipe

Vanilla cake recipe

Ogbono soup recipe

Chinchin recipe

Trending Top devices

iPhone 13

Infinix Note 10

Infinix Hot 10

iPhone 12 pro max

iPhone 13 pro max

Tecno Camon 17

Samsung A12

Infinix Note 8

Infinix smart 5

Tecno spark 7

Trending 2021 loss

TB Joshua

Sound Sultan

Ada Jesus

DMX

Femi Osibona

Dare Adeboye

Rachel Oniga

Prince Philip

Yinka Odumakin

Sani Dangote

Trending movies and series

Squid Game

Coming to America 2

Sex Life movie

Black Widow

Red Notice

Mortal Kombat

Army Of The Dead

Eternals

Shang Chi

The Harder They Fall

Trending 2021 Songs

Naira Marley – Coming

Ayra Starr – Bloody Samaritan

Omah Lay – Understand

Naira Marley – Koleyewon

Kizz Daniel – Lie

Ladipoe feat. Buju – Feeling

Ruger – Bounce

Davido – Jowo

Wizkid – Essence (Remix) ft. Justin Bieber

Joeboy – Alcohol

Trending “Who is” general

Who is going to win Champions League 2021?

Who is Obi Cubana?

Who is Ada Jesus?

Who is Sunday Igboho?

Who is the best player in the world?

Who is DMX?

Who is the President of America?

Who is the new chief of army staff?

Who is Abba Kyari?

Who is Cubana Chief Priest?

Trending “How to” general

How to check JAMB result 2021?

How to pack a parcel?

How to open pdf file?

How to open mp3 file?

How to open apk file?

How to check NECO result?

How to register NIN online?

How to vote on BBnaija 2021?

How to reprint JAMB slip?

How to track a package?

Trending “Where is” general

Where is Sunday Igboho now?

Where is White Money from?

Where is Burna Boy from?

Where is Nnamdi Kanu today?

Where is my location?

Where is Maldives located?

Where is Cuba located?

Where is Gaza?

Where is Michigan located?

Where can I download movies?

For more information on Google’s Year in Search across the globe visit the Google’s trends site.

Twitter’s Suspension Persists Because They Haven’t Met All Our Conditions – FG.

The Federal Government has said the suspension of Twitter has not been lifted because the company has met 10 out of the 12 conditions given it.

The government however raised the hope of Nigerians that it is a matter of time before all issues with Twitter are resolved.

But it clarified that the suspension of Twitter had nothing to do with issues bordering on President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the clarifications while responding to a question from a participant at Nigeria International Partnership Forum in Paris.

Most investors at the forum were eager about the circumstances behind the suspension of Twitter.

Mohammed, who spoke in fluent French, caught the audience unawares.

The lady participant, who asked the question was perplexed and caught off guard by the Minister’s mastery of French.

But Mohammed took time to explain why the suspension of Twitter was not yet lifted.

He said: “I want to categorically say that Twitter was not banned by Nigera, it was only suspended. So, Twitter was never banned, it was suspended.

“Also, the suspension has nothing to do with President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The correspondences between us and Twitter have reached advanced stage. I want to say that the correspondences and the exchanges have been fruitful.

“But we have a few more issues to resolve. Out of about 12 conditions, Twitter has been able to meet 10.

“Very soon, all issues will be resolved in a way that it will be good for both our country and Twitter.”

RMD Shares Throwback Photo, Wonders How He Was Regarded As A Fine Man.

Actor, RMD Shares Throwback Photo, Wonders How He Was Regarded As A Fine Man And Good Dresser

Veteran Nollywood actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, wondered how people called him a fine man and good dresser many years ago after he shared this throwback photo on his Instagram handle,
He wrote;
”How on earth was RMD considered a fine man and good dresser over 20 years ago?”

Facebook Changes Its Name To Meta In Major Rebrand.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is rebranding itself as Meta in an effort to encompass its virtual-reality vision for the future, what Zuckerberg calls the “metaverse.”

Skeptics point out that it also appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the Facebook Papers, a leaked document trove that has revealed the ways Facebook ignored internal reports and warnings of the harms its social network created or magnified across the world.

Zuckerberg says he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade. The metaverse, he says, will be a place people will be able to interact, work and create products and content in what he hopes will be a new ecosystem that creates “millions” of jobs for creators.

The announcement comes amid an existential crisis for Facebook. It faces legislative and regulatory scrutiny in many parts of the world following revelations in the Facebook Papers.


In explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” just doesn’t encompass “everything we do” any more. In addition to its primary social network, that now includes Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more.

Nigerians Lose N150.46bn In Two Months as Twitter Ban Continues.

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Nigeria businesses may have lost N150.46bn ($366.88m) since the Federal Government’s ban on Twitter took effect in the country on June 5.This figure was calculated based on the NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool.
According to the tool, it costs Nigeria’s economy N102.77m ($250,600) every hour to ban Twitter. It has been 1,464 hours (61 days) since the ban. In that time period, Nigeria may have lost N150.46bn.
The NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool estimates the economic impact of an internet disruption, mobile data blackout or app restriction in a nation using indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Eurostat and U.S. Census.
The Federal Government had on June 4 announced the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. Telecommunication companies started blocking access to Twitter on June 5, after they received a directive from the Nigerian Communications Commission to block access to Twitter.
The FG had cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence as the reason for the suspension. Following the ban, groups including the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, had dragged the Federal Government to the ECOWAS court.
The Federal Government recently told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it had not stopped Nigerians from using Twitter, adding that many Nigerians still used it every day. This was in a counter-affidavit the government deposed to in response to an originating motion filed by human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.
The affidavit said, “The applicant (Effiong) and the class he seeks to represent can still operate those Twitter accounts from anywhere in the world and even from Nigeria. “Nigerians are still tweeting, even at this moment as the ban on Twitter is not aimed at intimidating Nigerians or an infringement on the rights of Nigerians to express their opinion.
According to a report by Statista, Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users, with about 26 per cent on Twitter. Since the ban, some Nigerians have migrated to the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
A VPN company, ExpressVPN said in June that it recorded an increase of over 200 per cent in web traffic from Nigeria since the Federal Government banned Twitter.VPN works by changing the location of devices they use.
 The ban on twitter hasn’t been favorable to some section of users who rely basically on the platform for business purposes. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises have said this has not been good for their businesses.
In a report in The PUNCH, financial planner, Kalu Aja said, “Social media enables the brand to talk directly to consumers. It’s direct marketing, specific and targeted. There is no organisation on earth, profit or not-for-profit, without some form of advocacy via social media.
The Twitter ban raises a narrative about doing business in Nigeria, and it’s not a good narrative. Specifically, Twitter and social media allow Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and sole proprietors with zero marketing budgets but a smartphone to build and communicate a brand promise. Fisayo Dada who sells processed foods on Twitter said, “Twitter was very important to my business. I got a lot of customers from Twitter but now i have to rteach out to some of them on whatsapp while ive lost most of my folowers due to the ban.

“I can’t put an amount to it. But I have made money to sustain myself and my family from Twitter. Since the ban began, business has been stressful and tiring. Business is dry. Normally the end of the month is always booming but since the ban, it’s been so slow.

“People coming to my DM have reduced a lot; VPN has reduced lots of people and followers on Twitter.”
Another SME entrepreneur, Babatunde Motunrayo, who sells female accessories on Twitter said, “Twitter was very helpful. I got 75 per cent sales here, compared to other apps I sell on. I use Instagram too but make more sales from Twitter, It’s not been the same. Sales have been poor. Having to turn on and off your VPN most times makes you reply to clients late and before you know it, you’ve lost the client because some say they’ve got it from another vendor. Sometimes you won’t get messages early. Some people stopped using Twitter outright.”