Nigerian lawmakers passed a bill yesterday that could extend a voter-registration drive for the oil-rich nation's April elections by more than two weeks, responding to criticisms surrounding the effort.
The vote by Nigeria's House of Representatives comes as the Senate has called the head of the nation's Independent National Electoral Commission to testify before members today. His testimony likely will signal whether the effort to register an estimated 70 million eligible voters will continue or end by late Saturday afternoon as scheduled.
As of now, electoral officials have until Saturday afternoon to register voters at about 120,000 locations spread across Africa's most populous nation. The House bill, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, would allow election officials to take up to an additional 16 days to finish the registration drive.
Election officials have met over the last several days about extending the registration period. Kayode Idowu, an election com-mission spokesman, said com-mission chairman Attahiru Jega would appear this morning before the Senate to announce his plans.
"There's nothing to be said about the extension now," Idowu said.