Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the final specimen of the permanent voter cards to enable it begin the printing of 40 million cards. INEC’s ICT Director, Mr Chidi Nwafor, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the project would cost N2.6 billion.
“After the samples we checked at our technical committee, we moved it to the ICT committee, it was taken at the commission level last week and was approved. So now we have a sample of what the whole voter’s permanent voter’s card in the whole country will look like.
“The next stage now is that since we have approved the sample is to start producing the cards which I think in the next few months we will start having the cards and after having the cards we distribute. ”
According to Nwafor, the contract has been awarded to an indigenous printing company.
“The processes are in stages; the first being the signing of contract with all the arbitrations, while the company was expected to produce all the bio-data for the specimen before we arrived at the permanent sample of how the whole voter’s card in the country would look like.”
The director said INEC was working toward achieving the 40 million voter cards before the end of 2012 in the first phase of the distribution of the cards.
He said the commission would work out the modalities for the distribution.
Nwafor stressed that INEC’s target was to ensure that by 2015, every eligible registered voter in the country had a permanent voter’s card that would contain all the necessary information and details.
The director added that the chip-based cards would guarantee eligible voters the right to vote during elections and solve the rigours of identification and authentication.
The contract was awarded to Art Technology Limited, with the technical partner “Obature” in France, at the cost of N65 per card.