The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the process of printing 40 million permanent voters’ card at a cost of N2.6 billion.
The Director, Information Communication Technology of INEC, Chidi Nwafor, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the contract was awarded to an indigenous printing company.
Mr. Nwafor, who gave the name of the company as Art Technology Limited, added that each card would cost N65.
According to him, the company has been paid 15 per cent as mandated by the law for the commencement of the job.
He said that the company had gone to France to source for the materials for the production from its technical partner, Obature.
The Director said that the voters’ card would contain voters’ biodata; age, sex, address, finger prints and phone number among others valid for a minimum of 10 years.
“Some of the electronic card features are micro testing security, hologram, finger prints and it will be an electronic card to be used for identification, authentication and for voting
“The cards are expected to prevent multiple voting, frauds and also strengthen INEC’s efforts to clean up the nation’s electoral process by achieving more credible and transparent polls.
“There are 73.5 million eligible voters but for the first phase we will print 40 million and another part of it for completion is in the budget for 2012,” he said.
“The states that will share the first 40 million have not been decided, but they will definitely go to the list of states that INEC has concluded both their voters register consolidation,” he said.
Mr. Nwafor, who said the production of the cards, would be continuous process to enable those whose names were missing to register “so that nobody will be disenfranchised”.
NAN recalls that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently awarded a N2.6 billion contract for the printing of 40 million permanent voters to replace the existing 73.5 million temporary cards.