The Nigerian government has approved NGN460 million (US$2.9 million) to be spent on the customisation and configuration of smart card readers to be used for voters’ authentication in the October 2014 general elections.
According to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Zinox Technologies will supply a first batch of 17,000 smart card readers within six months at the rate of NGN27,000 (US$168) each.Labaran Maku, Nigeria’s information minister, said the approval shows the administration is committed to ensuring credible free and fair elections in the country.He said the smart cards would be used to identify those planning to use fake cards during the elections.
“So, when you bring your voter card and there are doubts, it will pass through a process to verify the authenticity of the cards,” Maku said.
“Since the voter cards now have biometrics, it will be easy for the smart card readers to verify the identity of those who come out to vote during elections. This is to completely stop incidence of double voting which often occur during elections.”
He added the smart card readers will also be able to ensure citizens vote in the correct constituency.
by Paul Adepoju