Friday, 12 April 2013

Independent National Electoral Commission gets N2.1b for voters’ card




The Independent National Electoral Commission is advancing plans towards ensuring that the National Identity Cards are used for voting after the 2019 elections.

This is even as the Federal Executive Council approved contract for the printing of 35.5 million permanent voters’ cards, in the sum of N2,117, 500,000.00.
According to the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who briefed correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, told Council that the “idea of having a national ID card and then having separate voters cards will simply be duplication and waste of resources.

“One of the issues deliberated by the council was the disclosure by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that INEC is gradually moving towards the adoption of the expected National Identity Card which will be used as a document for voting in future elections.


“As the nation prepares to ensure that every Nigerian has a national ID card, INEC is preparing that at the expiration of the yet to be issued national voters cards, the national ID card that is in the process will now be the document that every Nigerian will use to vote in all elections in the country”, Maku said.


He explained further that the voters’ cards being adopted by INEC will last only for about 10 years. “The presumption is that the present permanent voters card that will be issued by INEC might be used for 2015 and possibly 2019 elections”, he said.


The approval to print the permanent voters’ cards, Maku, stated was sequel to a memorandum presented to Council by President Goodluck Jonathan. The cards are expected to be delivered within six months.


“Following the successful completion of the nationwide voters’ registration exercise in 2011, the National Electoral Commission (INEC), proposed to print 73,500,000 permanent voters’ cards to replace the temporary voters’ cards issued during the registration exercise.


“The Commission printed 40,000,000 permanent voters’ cards in 2011 for the first phase of the project which is in progress. There is the need to print and issue the remaining 33,500,000 permanent voters’ cards in this second phase.


“After deliberations, Council approved the contract for the second phase of the printing of 33,500,000 cards at the rate of N65.00 per card, in favour of Messrs ACT Technologies Limited”, Maku told State House correspondents.


Also, the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqqayat Ru’fai, sought and got Council’s approval for the institutionalisation of Six-Level National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) and the placement of National Vocational Qualifications in the Scheme of Service.


Justifying the need for the new qualification, the minister noted that “as Nigeria aspires to become a major player in the world economy, the place of skilled and competent workforce cannot be under played.


“The phenomenon of Vocational Skills framework has been embraced by many countries as a vital scheme to enhance development of competent workforce and ensure that qualifications for occupants are flexible, transparent and accountable”, Prof Ru’fai explained.

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