Electoral Institute Urges Continuous Use Of Card Readers

Elections, Card Readers, Electoral InstituteAn organ of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) responsible for research and training for electoral officers, the Electoral Institute (EI), has urged the commission to sustain the use of smart card readers in future elections.

The Director of the institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the appeal at a forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Momoh explained that the meeting was convened to discuss the gains and challenges of the use of smart card readers in the 2015 elections.

“The whole idea of this round-table is to have a conversation around what went wrong with the card readers in the 2015 general election (and) what were the unintended consequences and backlash from the use of the card readers.”

The EI boss described the use of the card readers in the 2015 elections as a game changer.

He stated that the innovation of the technology had helped to reduce instances of over-bloated voters register.

A former INEC National Commissioner, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, also appealed to INEC to sustain the use of the card readers in future elections.

Mr Yakubu was of the belief that the technology had set a new standard for elections in Nigeria.

“The use of the smart cards and the companion card readers had become the minimum standard for the conduct of elections by the commission.

“This must not only be sustained but be improved upon in future elections,” he said.

Other resource persons at the event highlighted some of the challenges experienced with the use of card readers during the last general polls which include rejection of cards, poor battery issues and inability to capture fingerprints among others.

Fashola Commissions Ikorodu Skid Plant

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Tuesday commissioned another Skid Plant in Ikorodu, reiterating the commitment of his administration to ensuring that Lagos residents make the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) a preferred choice for cooking.

Speaking at the Ewu Elepe Village, Ginti, venue of the commissioning, Governor Fashola, who was represented by his Deputy, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said one of the priorities of his administration in this second term was to revamp and reposition the Energy Sector in the State to enable it play its role in the socio-economic and environmental development of the State.

Expressing dismay that Nigeria is ranked the lowest in the use of LPG in the continent, in spite of its position as the largest producer of the product, the Governor declared, “We also recognize the immense potential of the country’s gas resources. It is only right that we devise a means to apply the existing solution to an existing problem meaning that this gas can be used to provide electricity for our country Nigeria”.

On the reason for introducing the cooking gas to Lagos state residents, Governor Fashola said, “A large percentage of households in Nigeria still use kerosine and firewood for cooking. These two fuels are not only the major sources of emission but on the long run may be more expensive than LPG”.

He said the Lagos State government recognizes the negative impact the current cooking fuel, kerosene and firewood, pose to the environment and people in terms of emission, “The use of LPG has several advantages as fuel because of its simple structure and because it is free from impurities, making it one of the few clean and efficient burning fuels in the world”.

He said the State Government was “working seamlessly” to strengthen the needed infrastructure, to ensure the development of the oil sector and to ensure that Lagos residents could make a shift using liquefied petroleum.

In his remarks earlier, the Managing Director of Banner Gas, one of the companies partnering with the State Government in the venture, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, said the introduction of LPG, christened EKO Gas, was a demonstration of the State Government’s commitment to “Talk – to –Action”.

He said, “Before the year runs out, we are very sure and convinced that the Lagos State Government will have the course to commission more projects under the Energy programme of the State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources”, the Managing Director said adding that his company would be happy to have the Governor commission another Banner Gas- Eko Gas project powered by Banner Gas.

Four months ago, this kind of plant was launched in Surulere by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN).