A total of 96,303,016 eligible voters have registered to vote in next year’s general election, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Northwest is top on the table with 22,672,373 prospective voters.
It is made up of seven states: Sokoto, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Jigawa.
The region is being trailed by the Southwest, which has 18,332,191 voters. The zone is made of the six states of Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti.
Prospective voters from the two regions account for 41.7 per cent of the total number of registered voters as gleaned from the INEC website by The Nation yesterday.
The electoral body had registered 84,004,084 voters for the 2019 polls. Thus, there are new 12,298,932 registered voters.
Northcentral is third with 15,680,438, followed by Southsouth with 15,299,374; Northeast, 12,820,363 and Southeast, 11,498,277.
INEC shut its registration portal on Sunday, thus bringing the exercise to a halt for now.
A notice on the website yesterday read: “The CVR exercise has been suspended. Access to log-in to check the status of your completed applications will soon be restored.”
The deadline for the exercise was first fixed for June 30 before it was moved to July 31.
A state-by-state breakdown of the new registration figure of 12,013,068 shows that Kano, one of the seven Northwest states, topped the table with 569,103 prospective voters.
Lagos State is second with 585,629.
From the statistics, 8,854,566 of the 12,013,068 new voters registered physically while 3,444,378 did theirs online.
The data also shows that 6,074,078 of the new registrants are males and 6,224,866 are females.
Youths form the major component of the new would-be voters. There are 8,784,677 of them.
There is a surge in the number of registered voters.
According to observers, there is an increased awareness about the sanctity of the ballot box. Many Nigerians now believe that votes will count.
Also, the candidates, political parties, civil society groups and INEC have intensified their sensitisation of the public to the importance of registering to vote in next year’s polls.
The general election will commence in February next year in 176,846 polling units across the country.
Eighteen political parties will participate.
INEC, however, warned in a statement yesterday about the existence of fake online registration sites.
The agency, therefore, advised members of the public to avoid “such fake sites.
The statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, reads: “Barely 24 hours after the suspension of voter registration, the attention of the INEC has been drawn to an online site urging Nigerians to enrol for “voter card registration”.
According to him, the scammers claimed that the Federal Government had approved “individual voter card (PVC) registration online to avoid the unnecessary crowd in the NIMC (National Identity Management Commission) centres”.
Okoye added: “The commission states unequivocally that the site is not linked to the Commission and the link/portal are spurious and from a dubious source.
“INEC is the only body constitutionally and legally mandated to conduct the registration of persons qualified to vote in any election in Nigeria and to update and revise the register when the need arises.
“The commission is solely responsible for organising, undertaking and supervising national elections in the country and does not share this responsibility with anybody or organisation.
“Members of the public are strongly advised not to succumb to the antics of online scammers and should avoid such fake sites.
“The commission has concluded the Continuous Voter Registration exercise nationwide and does not need to open an additional site or portal for the purposes of registration of voters.”