The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Wednesday in Abuja it was working closely with security agencies to provide additional training of security officials on election duty.
Its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, told newsmen that the additional training became necessary because election duty requires “specialised training”.
Jega said the additional training would be on a train-the-trainer basis whereby officers trained would train other officers in their various organisations ahead of the 2015 general elections.
“In the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, we have severally discussed the need to ensure that security agencies are well trained.
“A number of programme of activities has been designed for the training of security officials on election duty.
“Security officers are trained on their jobs of maintaining law and order but election duty also requires specialised training.
“As I speak with you, the Electoral Institute of INEC is working closely with many security agencies trying to organise what we call a training of trainers so that each organisation will send some people, who will be trained at our institute, so that they can go back and train others in their own organisations.
“So, I want to assure you that everybody – both INEC and the security agencies – have seen the need to provide additional training for security personnel who are going to be involved in elections.
“And a lot of measures are being put in place to ensure that is done before the 2015 general elections. “
The INEC chairman said the commission was working hard to see that the salaries and wages of staff members of the commission were improved and made commensurate with the “special” and “risky” nature of their jobs.
“Since we came in as a new commission, we have done our best to improve the welfare of our workers.
“The only thing we have not been able to do is to increase their salaries; and that one is difficult because salary and wage review is normally done at a higher systemic level.
“But we have been pushing and dialoging with government, trying to argue that INEC staff members discharge special, risky responsibilities and therefore deserve special salary scale.
“And we are doing our best; our hope is that sooner or later we will be able to have a separate salary structure for the staff members of the commission.
“But even before we are able to get that we have been doing everything possible to improve their welfare and their conditions of work.’’
He said the new INEC management had given some of the commission’s offices a facelift.
Jega said renting offices nearby had decongested the headquarters of the commission.
He said, “whatever we can do within the limit of our resources and permissible by law, we have been able to do and will keep on doing.
“The welfare of our workers is primary and whatever is possible within the law we will do so that they can be contented and motivated to give their best to the country.