Nigerians have the brains to develop a better technology for more sensitive card readers, Dr Haruna Sani, Executive Vice -Chairman of the National Agency for Science Engineering Infrastructure(NASENI) has said.
Sani who told NAN: ”it is high time for the local production of card readers in Nigeria.
”If in every election we rush abroad and purchase equipment, we will continue to have these problems.
“We have all the brains in Nigeria who can develop better technology for more sensitive card readers.
“I think the system prefers importation so we can remain as consumers instead of local producers; to the best of my knowledge, across the world everyone tries to develop home grown solution for election problems.’’
Speaking against the backdrop of “faulty and cumbersome” operation of card readers at many polling stations during the March 9 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections, Sani said that going forward, if the right measures were not put in place, the same issues would crop up in the 2023 general elections.
Hence, he reiterated the need for local solution as a way out to inability to use imported card readers.
”With the local technology fully allowed to take over and with electronic voting collation of result it would be less cumbersome as voters can see their votes counting on screen.
”If INEC wishes, the nation can see the result online and on television; again, as we are voting, anyone can see it there,” he told NAN.
He said NASENI had demonstrated it in the past, adding that the device the agency developed would issue PVC in two minutes.
“You don’t need to pile voters card at the point of the registration.
“With our device, you can carry out all elections by combining the Presidential and National Assembly, Governorship, State House of Assembly; all within three minutes a voter is done.
“I think my personal observation is that some of the INEC ad-hoc staff are not properly trained to operate the card readers; all of a sudden, some staff are replaced by people who were not trained.
“I witnessed someone complaining that the card reader in Sabongida was not working; we later discovered that the ballot paper had a transparent sealed for projection against dust.
“But the operator was ignorant to know that the seal has to be removed first before the card reader can read anybody’s thumb,” he told NAN.
Sani noted that INEC had directed that if the card reader failed to work, there could be manual accreditation to allow voters exercise their franchise without delay.
According to him, the use of card reader would have given the process more credibility as it would have been neater and more satisfying.(NAN)
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