INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigerian youths are leading the number of fresh registrants in the ongoing voters registration exercise. 

Current situation 
Nigerian youths are leading the charts in terms of fresh voters’ registrants in the fourth quarter of registration as INEC says 78.7% or 1,093,834 are between the ages of 18 to 34. Similarly, in the third quarter of registration, youth between the ages of 18 to 35 led fresh registrants with 2,310,554 persons. 

  • With the registration exercise still ongoing, projections are that this number will increase showing a willingness of youths to play an active role in 2023 general elections. 

Youth participation in 2019
In 2019, statistics showed that Nigerian youths within ages 18 and 35 contributed 51.11% or 42,938,458 to the total number of registered voters. According to INEC, there was a slight drop in the number of youths that voted 46.3%. 

What the law says 
In May 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the “Not Too Young To Run” bill into law, relaxing some of the provisions of Sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution bordering on age requirement for occupying elective positions in Nigeria. 

  • The federal government reduced the age qualification for president from 40 to 30; governor from 35 to 30; senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and the House of Assembly from 30 to 25. 

Youths and 2023 elections 
The UN’s World Population Prospects estimates that Nigeria’s population is about 214 million people in 2022, with Nigerians within age 18 to 29 being around 42.7 million, and those within ages 30 to 39 estimated to be 22.3 million. 

  • Bottom line is if most Nigerian youths turn out to vote in 2023, they would have a significant influence on the outcome of the election. 
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