The Federal Government has approved N2.6 billion for the production of 40 million permanent voters' card by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Briefing newsmen yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Information Minister Labaran Maku said the money is to fund the first set of about 74 million Temporary Voters Cards (TVC) issued by INEC for previous elections.
He said, "In order to meet up with the requirement of further elections, the Commission has found it expedient to replace the TVC with permanent voters cards which contain security features such as hologram, microtext, guilloche, barcode, fingerprints, contactless/embedded chip with printed voters details and photograph that will last for an average of 10 years."
While explaining the cost analysis of the permanent voters card, Maku said the contractor, ACT Technologies Limited is to produce the cards at a unit cost of N65.00 and is expected to complete the project in seven months. He said the electronically enabled voters card is expected to improve the conduct of elections in the country saying, "the permanent voters' cards would allow voters to participate in elections irrespective of their location in the country.
The minister stated that the project is in line with the provision of the Electoral Act 2010 and is aimed at consolidating the achievements recorded in the electoral process.
Maku said government has directed INEC to ensure speedy completion of the project and to ensure distribution of the cards before the 2015 general elections.
Meanwhile, Maku said Finance Minister of State, Dr. Yerima Ngama, told council that the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has rated Nigeria as third fastest growing economy in the world.
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