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NSE advocates indigenous voting system



Ademola Olorunfemi

THE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called for the adoption of an indigenous electronic voting system that will guarantee adequacy of election results. The President of the Society, Ademola Olorunfemi, who stated this in Abuja recently at the first quarterly briefing of the NSE, explained that there was the need for Nigeria to look inwards for solution to achieve rancour free election.

He said: “Transparency in the conduct of elections is essential to the extent that it gives room for self-assessment as a nation in terms of democratic development. It is for this reason that NSE has consistently advocated for full deployment of electronic voting system in the conduct of our elections.”

Olorunfemi stated that a locally manufactured biometric electronic voting system, which presents a methodology for an off-line and always-available system is especially suitable for developing countries such as Nigeria. He added that the locally made system has consistently been adopted for the election of the NSE since 2012. “Another advantage of this e-voting system is the speed in which results can be obtained because results are accurately tabulated. It reduces the risk of human and mechanical error and movement restriction.

The entire system, developed indigenously will eliminate multiple registrations and uphold the ‘one voter, one vote’ mantra of this administration. This made in Nigeria e-voting system is not only comprehensive but cost effective. It is open to evolution and adaptability because of its user-friendliness and simplicity,” he explained.

The NSE President insisted that the use of e-voting will engender transparency and reduce considerably post-election petitions and conflicts, saying, “the time for us to discard the old-fashioned voting system characterized by multiple voting encouraged by desperate political office seekers is now.

With the e-voting system, results are available real-time via the internet. Observers and voters can also view the election results real time from their homes, offices or anywhere in the world using web-enabled devices such as PC, laptops, phones or Ipads by simply logging onto the designated website.” Giving vivid example where the system has worked perfectly, Olorunfemi cited Brazil, which is a developing country like Nigeria where a test-run for e-voting was conducted in 1996.

He continued: “Since the year 2000, all eligible voters have been able to use e-voting to choose their candidates to the extent that 135 million people voted at the 2010 presidential election and the result was determined within 75 minutes. Similarly, there are about 600 million voters in India where the same system of voting has been in operation since 2004.

So, what are we waiting for? The world is leaving us behind even when we have home grown and tested solution.” The NSE also called for the extension of Nigerian content to all the sectors of the Nigeria economy, adding, “government should also ensure that bilateral and multilateral agreements, technical partners agreements in oil and gas, World Bank/Regional development institutions load agreements, should be scrutinized by the National Planning Commission and COREN, to ensure that clauses inimical to the development of indigenous capacity, use of indigenous personnel and local content are excluded. Consequently therefore, the National Planning Commission should be re-organized and properly equipped with professionals in the built environment, engineers and the like.”

In a an attempt to set engineering roadmap for the next government, NSE noted that countries that are excelled within a very short period of existence whether endowed with natural resources or not, applied engineering as a driving force of their development. Olorunfemi added: “The world over, the current dispensation is described as ‘knowledge economy’. As a norm, progressive nations are now focusing on science and engineering all over the world. What made the difference is the political will to place science engineering, technology and innovation in the driver’s seat by their leaders.”

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