Jega to INEC Staff: Don’t Get Carried Away by Success of 2015 Polls
Written by Taiwo Adediran on June 16, 2015
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, monday admonished staff of the commission not to be carried away by the accolades showered on them on the successful conduct of the 2015 general election but work towards improved performance in 2019.
Jega, who spoke at the retreat organised for INEC electoral officers, said that despite constraints, the commission was able to deliver credible elections to the country in 2015.
According to the INEC chairman, “I think not many of us in this room would need a reminder, but it is important that we remind ourselves that the success of the 2015 general election was as a result of tremendous effort and undertaking of many of us to learn from our mistakes, to take measures to learn from those mistakes, to continue to do our best for our country.” Lega noted that similar retreat held by the commission immediately after the 2011 general elections contributed to the success of the 2015, adding, “you were very honest, you were very sincere, you were very frank and you made very tremendous suggestions about how we could continue to improve the conduct of elections in our country beyond 2011.”
According to Jega, the recommendations of the top management consultancy agency, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, which it commissioned to reorganise and restructure INEC assisted in the successful conduct of the 2015 general election.
He noted that though many staff of the commission were not happy with the restructuring, some of the measures introduced helped in redefining schedule of responsibilities and putting square pegs in square holes.
“In spite of all, we believe that the outcome of the restructuring and reorganisation has been beneficial to the commission. Obviously again, there is a lot of room for improvement and as we move towards the future with all the accolades that we have got for the 2015 general election, it is time to begin to reflect on what areas of further reforms we should focus attention on,” he stated.
Jega however, expressed regret that he was unable to give the staff special salary structure, which he promised when he took over as chairman. He noted that despite the inability, he had continued to promote the welfare of the staff.
“We have ensured that salaries were paid regularly, we have ensured that there are a lot of opportunity for self improvement through the organisation of seminars and workshops with partners such as IFES and UNDP,” he added.
According to him, though the commission could not satisfy the expectations of everybody, he believes that he has done his best, and reminded the staff that, “the challenge is to continue to look for ways and means by which our best can continue to improve.”
Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Nigeria, Professor Gloria Richard-Jackson, in her remarks, congratulated the commission for the successful conduct of the 2ju015 elections.
She noted that although the 2015 elections have been seen as the best elections in Nigeria, there is still the room for improvement.
“IFES is happy to support your commission’s effort to review the conduct of the 2015 elections so as to build on the good practices and lessons learnt as we prepare for 2019 general election,” she added.
The theme of the retreat was, “2015 General Election: Lessons and Way Forward.”