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BENIN CITY – AHEAD of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday, began training of its Resident Electoral Commissioners and other senior officials across the five states in the South-South hinging its focus on its Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC). The two day workshop is being held in Benin City, Edo state. The Acting Director, Planning and Monitoring of INEC, Jude Okwuonu said the EMSC is an integral part of the Commission’s preparation the 2019 election. He said the training is to sensitise participants on their roles in the management of the EMSC structure at the state levels. “The nationwide zonal implementers workshops are preparatory for the state level implementers workshops that would be conducted by state offices on state basis” In its goodwill message, the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) through its Project Coordinator, Rudolf Elbling said the training with support from the European Union would be held in all the geo-political zones across the country. Represented by the Electoral Administration Expert of ECES, Wilson Manji, Elbling said; “ECES is proud to support this laudable initiative which among other functions seeks to ensure a seamless logistical and operational deployment plan that will further the objective of delivering a free and fair elections come 2019. It will be recalled that ECES supported the conduct of EMSC Implementers Workshops for the off cycle governorship elections in Anambra in 2017, Ekiti and Osun in 2018. ECES also supported the conduct of the EMSC Implementers Workshop and retreat for the INEC chair, National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners and Directors. The activation of the EMSC dashboard has also been supported by ECES within the framework of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme” He said ECES is delighted that INEC has taken a giant stride in the Electoral Management Systemt (EMS), Election Risk Management (ERM) and Electoral Operations Support Centre (EOSC) for effective implementation and monitoring of electoral activities. “We are also happy that steps towards the operationalisation, institutionalisation, and activation of the EMSC at headquarters and states levels have been taken through the inauguration of the EMSC committee, development of reporting templates and manuals and capacity building for key electoral staff”

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