A three (3) day BRIDGE Professional Development Training was organised for the twenty-eight (28) Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) staff. These participants included the Chairman, six Commissioners and twenty-one (21) senior staff of NSIEC in Minna the Niger State capital. Out of twenty-eight participants, four were female. NSIEC Chairman and Commissioners were newly appointed to five-year tenure with the responsibility of conducting Local Government Elections in Niger State before the end of the year. This workshop was conducted from 5 – 7 November 2018, as part of technical assistance from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), with funding from USAID and UKAID.
The Professional development training was intended to expose NSIEC and its senior staff to basic electoral administration and management aspects to enhance their ability to conduct incontrovertible and credible local election in Niger State. The training also provided the opportunity for participants to understand and appreciate the knowledge, skills and attitude that are required in managing an EMB and conducting elections.
The thematic modules and topics covered include: Introductions to Electoral Administrations (Elections: What it is; Why; and Types; Electoral cycle Introduction to EMBs Legal, Institutional Framework for and Challenges of Election Administration in Nigeria, Guiding Principles for Election Admin. Ethics in Election Administration, Free and Fair elections and Electoral system), Strategic and Financial Planning (The planning cycle, Levels of planning, Steps in strategic planning, SMART goals in planning, Budgeting Approaches and Forecasting, The structure & Types of an Organization and their advantages & disadvantages, Organizational culture and values, Essence of communications, Chain & Barriers, Strategies for effective communication, Leadership: Meaning, Types and Objectives) Operational Planning, the big logistics event, importance of logistics planning, Electoral Security Risks Assessment and Planning, Gender and PWDs Issues/access in Election.
The team of facilitators for the workshop includes Obaje Ukeh and Seray Jah as lead facilitator.
Participants were able to better understand and develop draft operational plans for the upcoming election. The operational plan will be useful in the material procurement, staff recruitment, training and deployment for the elections. The Commission was very appreciative of the BRIDGE training which served as an in-depth professional elections training for the Commission, which was the first of its kind for NSIEC.