Abuja — Nigeria has recorded a scientific breakthrough with the local manufacture of an electronic voting machine designed to eliminate all problems associated with existing ones.
Presenting the innovation to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Haruna said the device is a solar-powered EMV with cloud-based collation of election results.
According to Haruna, the device does not store data, thus making it useless to anyone who snatches it. He explained: once the device receives data in form of voting, it sends it to the central electronic system of the electoral body from where it can be viewed online.
Haruna said the scientific innovation would make it possible to conduct all elections: from the presidential to local government in a day, with the results available same day, thereby giving no room for electoral manipulation.
He stated that the tamper proof device addresses most of the electoral challenges such as ballot box snatching, multiple thumb printing, failure of card reader and alteration of data.
"It also makes provision for diaspora voting and incorporates facial recognition, radio frequency identification device options of voters identification in addition to thumb print and card reader," he stated.
Patrick Okwu, the Managing Director of the NASENI-supervised Electronics Development Institute, Awka, where the electronic voting machines were produced, while making the Power Point presentation to the minister, said that the device has dual identification modes, one is facial and the other is the thumbprint.
The minister commended NASENI for taking up the challenge of producing an indigenous electronic voting machine devoid of usual hiccups.According to Onu, he had thrown the challenge to the agency at a previous visit the Institute in Awka. "This is a major contribution to our nation's growth. It is important that every vote should count. This is what will make democracy very strong and make elections free and fair."
He called for more research to make the handheld machine even smaller, promising to support the agency with more funds from the ministry, for more research in the areas of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
It would be recalled that NASENI is currently producing solar panels and has in recent past, produced hydro electric turbines, LED lights, inverters and farm implements, among others.