Elections: INEC expresses confidence in card readers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed confidence in the performance of the Smart Card Readers to be used at the forthcoming general elections.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee Mr. Festus Okoye expressed the confidence yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Okoye confirmed that the card readers had been enhanced for better performance.

He added that the commission did not expect the card readers to malfunction.

“The batteries of the enhanced card readers can last longer now. The window of the smart card reader is wider and can read fingerprints better now.

“We have upgraded the smart card readers and the ones to be used for the election are smart card readers that can perform very well.

“So, we do not envisage the issue of malfunction. It will be reduced to the barest minimum.

“The issue of card readers unable to read peoples biometrics will be reduced to the barest minimum,” Okoye said.

The national commissioner said the commission had required qualities as well as quantity to conduct the nationwide elections.

“What we did was to make up for shortfalls. Additional cards readers that we wanted have already arrived in the country and have been distributed to all the states.

“So, we don’t have challenge to the quality of smart card readers that would be used for these elections,” he said.

Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has ordered a comprehensive water-tight and round-the-clock security for INEC offices and facilities nationwide.

Consequently, Command Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been directed to put in place adequate, functional and purposeful security arrangements aimed at protecting the INEC offices and materials from all forms of crimes and mischief- before, during and after the elections.

According to Force spokesman ACP Frank Mba, Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) have also been mandated to monitor compliance level of commands under their jurisdiction with this directive, and ensure that no breach of security of any kind occurs within and around INEC facilities under their watch. The order takes immediate effect.

The IG assures Nigerians of the readiness of the Police to deliver on its mandate of providing a safe and enabling environment for the conduct of the general election. He reiterates the commitment of the Force to providing a level-playing field for all political actors, while remaining professional and apolitical in the discharge of its responsibilities.

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