INEC procures additional 20,000 card readers, 35,000 batteries

Ahead of the March 28 and April 11 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has procured about 20,000 backup card readers and 35,000 backup batteries.
The procurement of the backup devices is part of the precautionary measures by INEC to forestall challenges that may arise during the accreditation process of the elections.
Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Idowu said the Commission had learned from the Ghana experience where card readers for election could not work due to battery problems.
In the case of Nigeria, although the card readers could work for 12 hours when used continuously where as accreditation process is to last for only five hours, he said, yet the Commission has procured about 35,000 spare batteries, “so that if, for whatever reason, there may be a challenge with the battery, one can replace it”.
Further, he said several integrity tests for the machines had been carried out in the United States, saying they don’t fail easily and are of highest quality. 
“In spite of that, we have bought nearly 20,000 spares, in addition to 152,000 active card readers, so that if for any reason the card reader malfunctions and can no longer continue, the spares would be deployed at the wards for the exercise,” he added.
Similarly, Mr. Idowu noted that if a card reader cannot be replaced before the time for accreditation is over that day, the exercise would be repeated the following day. 
He said this option is preferred to reverting to manual accreditation by political parties because human error would always arise in such an arrangement. 
He also said poor mobile connection would not be a challenge as the card readers make use of sim cards, adding that the machines are designed with built-in memory due to poor network coverage that may be experienced in some areas.

Mr. Idowu said there were no challenges of data manipulation and use of fake permanent voter cards.
He said all the cards are preconfigured for respective polling units and added that after the accreditation of voters, INEC’s central server would receive real time information on the exercise, including the  number of accredited voters before the casting of ballot proper would commence. 
The process, Mr. Idowu said, will check over voting.
While briefing the Senate Wednesday, Mr. Jega had said wherever total vote casts are higher than accreditation figure, election would be cancelled in such polling unit.
Mr. Idowu further ruled out data manipulation as a challenge, explaining that INEC would receive real-time information on the accreditation exercise and that the system is fool proof.


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  • DonGoke

    Well done, at least you’re working hard establish credible electoral system in Nigeria that meets the challenges of 21st century.

  • vuvuzela

    we are happy that at last we shall get there and no one will decive us and loot our vote. I know many honourables who got to office through rigging and theydid nothing for anybdoy.

  • tunji braimoh

    To think that Jega and the APC wanted this election to have taken place on the 14th of february,hmmmmm yeye dey really smell

  • Naija Forever

    It is quite obvious from recent developments that Jega and INEC were not ready for the election as at Feb 14 if only they are just ordering for additional batteries for card reader.It is also obvious that Jega failed to disclose the true picture of the readiness of INEC as well as rescheduling of the election.Jega should also stop hiding behind security reason for his sheer incompetence
    The next question is when are users of these card readers going to start their training? As Jega is obviously not aware that INEC staff ought to be trained on the use of the card readers before the election date.

  • warry

    Jega please bring our PVC’s you are keeping. Some people in Lagos,Rivers,etc states are still being told that their cards are with you.

  • campol

    I thought he said he was ready for the election?

  • evi

    And he went about telling the whole world he was ready for the election, blaming our military and the FG for the postponement, blaming every body but himself. Thank God for exposing apc and Jega’s plan of rigging the election by trying to disenfranchise 23 million voters from the south and reducing their voting strength to enable him give buhari victory through the back door

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Jega is a big thief. At the end of the day, Nigeria’s elections will be the costliest ever in the whole world. Yet, this useless Prof. is obviously working from question to answer because he is in an unholy alliance with Bokoharamic APC and his fellow Mallam, Buhari. Jonathan needs to sack this twerp immediately.

  • BlackieUmukoro

    In the light of these glaring inadequacies and unpreparaedness on the part of INEC, the very dubious and very fraudulent will still lay the blame for the postponed elections on the military and the PDP. It is now clear that they are leaking their wounds since the FG bursted the evil collaboration between APC and INEC. Gate of hell beckons on them

  • ilesanmi

    A careful follower of Jega’s antics on the 2015 elections will know that he has a plan to mess up the elections and throw the country on fire. The card readers even if they had worked effectively in Ghana Jega knows that they will surely fail or be failed in Nigeria and this will lead to uncontrollable crisis. INEC under Jega has conducted elections in the past whereby electoral materials arrived late and voting had to be done late evening and if card readers were to be used they would have been totally discharged before commencement . Also the hand held readers could be snatched or destroyed in anger for rejecting someones cards or by persons who could not collect their PVCs. Electronic device could be manipulated for any purpose. I believe that these readers will cause more problems than solution, more so that Nigerians are suspicious of Jega’s unholy alliance with the APC.