Nige­ria is tech­no­log­i­cally ready for e-vot­ing but... – INEC

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Zakariyya Adaramola

Nige­ria is tech­no­log­i­cally ready for elec­tronic vot­ing and the coun­try may adopt it as soon as the cur­rent elec­toral acts are amended to that ef­fect, the Act­ing Chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC), Mrs Amina Zakari has said.

Mrs Zakari dis­closed this in Abuja yesterday while an­swer­ing ques­tions from jour­nal­ists shortly af­ter a cour­tesy visit by the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Na­tional In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Olu Jack.

She said: “We have al­ways used tech­nol­ogy as far as elec­toral process is con­cerned so as to achieve free and fair elec­tions. Any­time we have the time to rec­om­mend amend­ments we will be able to make amend­ments and once that im­ped­i­ment is lifted INEC will part­ner with agen­cies to de­velop frame­work for elec­toral vot­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to her, “INEC shall how­ever part­ner with NITDA to fash­ion a home­grown con­tent that will be for Nige­ria.”

The act­ing chair­man said: “INEC is ready to im­ple­ment what is in the laws, we con­stantly say that INEC is ever ready to im­ple­ment what is in the law, but as it is now we have an im­ped­i­ment of the law in terms of elec­tronic vot­ing.”

She how­ever said the im­ped­i­ment would not stop INEC from de­ploy­ing tech­nol­ogy in its pro­cesses, adding that the com­mis­sion re­lied on tech­nol­ogy for im­prove­ments in the sys­tem.

She added: “As much as we could and that is what we did dur­ing the 2015 elec­tions as it does bring about pro­cesses and ef­fi­ciency in our oper­a­tions.”

Dur­ing the visit, both agen­cies said they would col­lab­o­rate to de­velop fresh frame­work for a ro­bust elec­toral vot­ing in the near­est fu­ture, us­ing In­for­ma­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Tech­nol­ogy (ICT).

Ear­lier, NITDA’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral ex­pressed op­ti­mism on the de­ploy­ment of tech­nol­ogy to im­prove the elec­toral sys­tem.

He spoke about the up­com­ing NITDA’s e-gov­er­nance con­fer­ence slated for Novem­ber not­ing that it was de­lib­er­ately planned to fo­cus on the use of tech­nol­ogy to ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties to im­prove the coun­try’s elec­toral sys­tem. He said that by the time the 2019 elec­tions are con­ducted, Nige­ria would have a fair polls ac­cept­able by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

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