The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a 20-member Inter-Agency Technical Committee to assess a newly-developed e-voting system.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director of Voter Education and Publicity, on Thursday in Abuja.
The e-voting machine was developed by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
The agency, led by Ogbonnaya Onu, minister for Science and Technology had in June paid a visit to the commission for a demonstration of a prototype e-voting machine developed by NASENI.
Mr. Osaze-Uzzi said the committee was inaugurated to evaluate the requirements for the successful deployment of the indigenous e-voting technology.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards increasing the application of technology in the electoral process.
Mr. Yakubu, who was represented by Okechukwu Ibeanu, INEC National Commissioner, said he was happy that NASENI had gone that far in developing the machine.
He said the machine would not only help the process, but more importantly the it was indigenously developed.
He said the application of electronic technology to the electoral process, particularly to the voting process would, increase the confidence of the electorate in the outcome.
Mr. Yakubu added that it would also in many ways facilitate the work of the Commission.
“Part of the challenges the Commission has had over the years is the undue delay in votes casting, collation and result declaration.
“As such, every means of cutting down the turnaround time in that process is highly appreciated,” he said.
He urged the committee to diligently carry out the assignment and assured them of the full support of the Commission.
Responding on behalf of the Committee, Abbas Gummi assured that the Committee would live up to the expectations of the confidence reposed on it and would deliver a very good report.
The Committee is to determine the e-voting needs of INEC and present a compilation of requirements for INEC’s successful deployment of a suitable e-voting solution.
It is also to evaluate the e-voting solution offered by NASENI in the light of the needs of INEC; assess the operational, technical and social issues associated with an e-voting system in Nigeria in the light of the NASENI’s solution.
It is also to consider the implications of extant electoral legal framework in Nigeria for the introduction of e–voting generally, and particularly the NASENI solution.
The committee is to also evaluate the sustainability of the NASENI e-voting solution in the light of other available solutions.
The committee is made up of staff of INEC, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and NASENI.