President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly will work with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delineate electoral constituencies ahead of 2023 general elections.
Mr Lawan said this when he received a delegation from INEC, led by its Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
The last exercise, which witnessed the creation of electoral districts and constituencies across the country, was carried out 25 years ago in 1996.
The senate president said the delineation of electoral constituencies would enhance democracy as well as provide equitable and fair representation in Nigeria’s governance structure.
He explained that having more districts and constituencies would present a level playing field for all Nigerians to elect leaders of their choice at the poll.
Mr Lawan urged the federal government to find a way of getting accurate information about the country’s population size, stressing that such information was significant and critical for the creation of more constituencies in disadvantaged areas.
“The issue of delineation or creation of more electoral constituencies is like the previous one on the polling units.
“But unlike the polling units, this is going to be more difficult because you need more information, especially on the population.
“And because we did not have census after the 2006 exercise, now we have to find a way of getting information about our population size, because that is very important and significant in taking any decision in that respect.
“But I want to assure you and Nigerians that we will go all the way with you to finding solutions on getting the delineation of electoral constituencies done before the end of our tenure,” he said.
Mr Lawan added: “It is not going to be easy by no means, but we sit here as parliamentarians to deal with the issues of developing Nigeria and of course, elections determine a lot of things in this country and, indeed, in any country.
“This is one way of giving Nigerians the opportunity to vote for their leaders and we cannot joke with that. We are all products of elections.
“If the delineation of constituencies – whether state or national – will give Nigerians better opportunities and enhance our democracy, and I’m sure it will, then we must work hard to do that. So, we will work with you in INEC.”
Speaking, Mr Yakubu said the delineation of constituencies required an act of the national assembly.
“The major consideration in the revision of the country’s constituencies is the population quota.
“The National Assembly has powers under the constitution to actually request INEC to delineate constituencies by an act of the assembly.
“No act of the National Assembly has asked INEC to delineate constituencies since the last delineation in 1996,” he said.
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