National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, paid a courtesy visit on Tuesday to the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
His mission was to secure uninterrupted supply of petroleum products for the 100,000 vehicles and 4,000 boats for the deployment of personnel and materials to 176,846 polling units spread across 8,809 Registration Areas (or electoral Wards) in 774 Local Government Areas nationwide for the general elections.
Addressing his host, Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the NNPCL, the INEC Chairman said having secured the support and cooperation of the
National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Marine Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, (NARTO) for deployment of vehicles, it was important to secure the assistance of the nation oil giant for uninterrupted petroleum products to make conduct of the general elections devoid of unnecessary hitches in terms of logistics.
The INEC Chairman formally requested that the NNPCL mega stations come handy to assist in supply of petroleum products for the vehicles that will be deployed during and after the general elections.
He said: “In our effort to mobilise every national institution to give Nigerians a pleasant experience on Election Day, the Commission believes that the NNPC, as our national oil company, is one of the critical institutions that can facilitate the attainment of our objective. We are aware of the efforts of the NNPC to ease the current situation in earnest. At the same time, we would like to appeal to you to consider the following proposals.
“The use of the NNPC land and floating mega stations nationwide to service our election duty vehicles and boats. We will bear the cost of the products. By doing so, there will be guaranteed supply for elections.
“A special arrangement with other marketers in locations where the NNPC may not have dedicated stations; and
“Consider other options to support our seamless operations on Election Day.”
In his response, the Group Managing Director of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari assured the INEC Chairman that the corporation was determined to give all necessary assistance to the electoral body to ensure smooth conduct of the general elections.
Kyari said it was in the best interest of the oil giant to operate in a stable political environment.
“We know that logistic is a major component of electoral duties. NNPCL has always supported the INEC, not in this direct form, in making sure that fuel is made available to all vehicles that are involved in the electoral process.
Needless to say that there was no formal framework for that, and there were no even exact formal requests for this.
“All the same, we are always conscious of the necessity to provide support to INEC whenever elections take place.
“Much as even you are going to pay for the product that we’re going to deliver to you. We’ll work with your logistics team to identify those areas where we may not have a presence so that we can bring in other marketing companies into the conversation so that the products are made available to all the 100,000 vehicles that you have indicated.