Electoral officials in Nigeria say nearly 55 million people have been registered to vote as of the end of January ahead of the oil-rich country's April elections.

A statement issued Thursday by the Independent National Electoral Commission predicted that no fewer than 62 million people will be registered to vote by Feb. 5, the last day of the drive. Election officials had estimated that Africa's most populous nation has an estimated 70 million eligible voters.

The West African nation extended the registration by a week after technical problems and a lack of equipment marred the effort. Nigerians will go to the polls April 9 to elect a new president, along with federal and state elections.