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INEC opens up on serial operational expenditure on ICT to buoy election management

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it is spending so much on building Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure tailored to deepen awareness in order to build trust in the system.

According to the chairman of the agency, Prof Mahmood Yakubu at the forum of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Abuja, he said “One of the issues that we are not confronting is trust deficit.  We lack trust in this country. We don’t trust ourselves. We don’t trust the government. Trust deficit; we are investing some money, since 2011 down to 2019 in ICT, all because of lack of trust. We are bringing neutral elements in place of trust”.

Though he did not give a breakdown of ICT infrastructure already provided and their costs, Yukubu, represented by a National Commissioner, Dr. Muhammed Lecky, disclosed that “I was in Norway, during their election. The thing we call sensitive materials: ballot papers, they are freely given out in the streets by political parties. Imagine, Nigerian political parties giving out ballot papers!

Continuing, he argued that “That is unheard of in this country, where we have gunboats escorting ballot papers as if we are preparing for war. Imagine the cost of doing that!”

Analysts argue that if INEC had really invested that much on ICT over the years, there is nothing then that deter the country from going e-voting in 2019 elections.

Defending why Nigeria is due for electronic voting come 2019, Mr. Leke Alder, chief executive of Alder Consulting who spoke at the recent discuss by development experts at Covenant Christian Centre (CCC), Iganmu, Lagos, said “If BBNaija can as well garner well over 170 million e-votes during the recent period of the Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) and secured another 30 million e-votes just on the final day in Nigeria, it means that going electronic voting next year is possible.

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