Newly appointed Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta affairs, Senator Ita Enang has underscored the need for the amendment of the Electoral Act within the first year of the current administration to fill the lacunas observed by the judges at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Enang spoke at the weekend at a reception organised by the Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) for the civil society organisation expert now appointed as the chief of staff to the Deputy Senate President, Dr Utibe Ibuzor.
Enang noted that the judges at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had observed that there were lacunas in the electoral act and that their hands were tied due to the deficiencies of the Electoral Act.
According to Enang this is to enable electoral management body to start preparation in earnest for the next general elections in 2023.
The ex lawmaker also stated that the need to embark on immediate amendment was to correct misconceptions that arose in the last elections so that the country could have a credible election.
According to him, the need to introduce electronic voting during the general elections could not be done because it was illegal and the erroneous impression that when a voter accredits using the smart card reader, it reflects in the server.
This he said was not correct as the Smart Card Readers were not so programmed.
He objected to the amendment bill emanating from a member or the leadership of the Senate or the House of Representatives.
“I want the executive to take the drive by proposing what is appropriate and then submitting it to the legislature and the legislature will now do a public hearing to enable the country have an amended Electoral Act.”
Enang said it did not require the setting up of a committee but an internal thing that should be initiated by the executive.
According to Enang, all it requires was “to study the judgement delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and see the points there and then take the amendments that were proposed by the National Assembly which were not accented to because of time and then take the judgement, marry it and produce something that is acceptable.”
On his work at Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Enang stated that he would ensure that the Nigeria Delta and Nigeria were prepared for life after oil through alternative sources of revenue.
He added that oil in the country has become very oily not capable of producing in the next five to eight years due to the presence of solar energy and other sources of energy.
Senator Enang stated that there were other areas where oil has been discovered around the world as well as those countries who have stored their oil and now drilling it which would make it lose its profitability.
“We have to have alternatives that would be sustaining the communities and the Niger Delta after oil and what would generate money for the economy of Nigeria after oil, not just solid minerals, but agriculture, industrialisation, ICT, manufacturing, a lot of other things like fishing, horticulture and all kinds of alternative sources of employment and engagement of the citizens. Above all, one of the greatest mandates is to make sure that we integrate local technology into oil refining and oil drilling,” he said.