by Zakariyya Adaramla
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 amendmments 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.