Dr. Abdu Bulama, Minister of Science and Technology, has said that use of technology will enhance the integrity of electoral process ahead of the forthcoming General Elections billed to hold next month.
According to the Minister, “the use of election technology to ensure integrity and/or enhance transparency in the electoral process can be tremendously effective.”
[su_quote cite=”Dr. Abdu Bulama, Minister of Science and Technology”]The Science and Technology Minister said that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whatsapp, Linkedin and Instagram are veritable means of technology that can be deployed in enhancing the electoral process for quick transmission of results.[/su_quote]
He said this at a two-day capacity development conference supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the theme: “Enhancing the use of Technology during the 2015 electoral process” held recently in Abuja.
The Science and Technology Minister said that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whatsapp, Linkedin and Instagram are veritable means of technology that can be deployed in enhancing the electoral process for ensuring quick transmission of results.
The Minister of Science and Technology told attendees at the event that globally, “innovative technology with peculiar local content have been deployed to ensure hitch-free electoral processes.”
The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology said that the programme held towards having a transparent and robust electoral process that will ensure a non-violent 2015 polls. Under the programme, the two-day conference on Technology and Electoral Process was held for its staff and officials of the 17 agencies under its supervision to equip them with “the requisite skills in the application of technology-based solutions in the conduct of credible elections.”
It was against this background of the pivotal relevance of the use of technology in electioneering exercise that the Ministry secured the support of UNDP to execute a project with focus on sensitizing Nigerians, especially the youth, Dr. Bulama added.
According to the Minister, the key objectives of the project were to expose staff of the Ministry of Science and Technology to global best practices in electioneering processes and equip them with capacity to be able to identify short, medium and long term plans to ensure the adoption of technology use in election. The project will also draw up a plan to implement the relevant project and to provide an opportunity for the Ministry to extend technology training to youth of voting age across Nigeria.
In recent times, election administrators have long used technology to help address some of their most pressing challenges, including voter registration and candidate nomination to voter identification and results transmission, Bulama said.
According to the Minister the present Administration in its renewed efforts to forestall controversy like the one that trailed the 2007 and 2011 elections, has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a huge task of adoption on improved method to ensure a free and fair election in 2015.
The Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) and Electronic Voter Identification (EVID) are the major pieces of election technology used by INEC for the purpose of engendering transparency in the whole process, according to Bulama.