An INEC Commissioner, Prof. Lai Olurode, says the commission has now taken delivery of almost half of the 40 million permanent voters’ cards, awaiting the balance to be delivered in the next few weeks.
He made this known in an interview on Monday in Abuja.
According to Olurode, the distribution of the voters’ cards will commence as soon as the commission takes the delivery of the remaining consignment.
In 2012, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved N2.6 billion for the printing of first batch of 40 million cards out of the 75 million permanent voters’ cards needed in the country for general elections.
Olurode said that all the logistics for the distribution had been worked out by the commission, pointing out that “as the commission is giving out the permanent card, the temporary one will be withdrawn”.
He said the commission had commenced a clean up exercise as well as consolidated the data on the 73.5 million voters already registered to eliminate cases of duplication or multiple registration.
The commissioner said that recently, some staff were recruited and would be engaged in the distribution of the cards.
Olurode said that contingency plans had been made for those who would not be able to receive their permanent cards during the exercise.
He said that ward officers would also commence house-to-house campaign on what to do and steps to be taken during the distribution.
“The commission has put in place various logistics to ensure the security of the cards because we don’t want them to get into wrong hands or the politicians to hijack the exercise.”
Olurode said that based on past experience and investigations, the commission was this time, giving out more secured, fraud-proof, chip-based and biometric data proof card in order to check the electoral manipulation.
He also said that the commission has got approval from the National Economic Council (NEC) to sell 78,000 units of laptops to interested state governments.
“These were part of the 130,000 laptop components of Direct Data Capture (DDC) bought for the 2010 voter registration exercise.
“INEC did not just wake up one day and decided that the computers should be sold.
“During the 2010 voter registration, more than 130,000 DDC were bought and after the election the technological revolution has rendered the machine irrelevant and outdated. So, instead of keeping them to rust away, INEC has decided to recycle them.”
Olurode explained that a few of the computers had been selected for the continuous voter registration exercise, while some were reserved to strengthen the ICT capacity for training and other activities.
He said the idea has been sold to the state governments to have them for their schools and other educational institutions.
“This has become very imperative for the state governments because the computer literacy in the country is still very low, and buying the computers will be of great assistance.”
He said the sale would commence as soon as the commission began to receive responses from the state governments.
“The intention of the commission is not motivated by profit, the whole idea is to enhance computer literacy among Nigerians.”