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NigComSat kicks off e-voting campaign with NSE elections

The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, NIGCOMSAT, last week, tested the e-voting system developed by its engineers to help the country out of continued election malpractices allegedly plaguing Nigerian general elections.

This was as the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) at the weekend successfully conducted its yearly general elections online real-time through the e-voting system .The elections were monitored by participants and voters online from internet enabled laptops and smart phones.

Prior to the election, data of the members were captured electronically and biometric information taken. At the venue of the election, the data was accessed electronically and accreditation was smooth.

NIGCOMSAT provided mobile internet via Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) for connectivity to broadcast events online real-time on the NigComSat-1R satellite.

That made it possible for participants and contestants to monitor the procedures online real-time as voting was updated on the dedicated website for the election as each voter cast his or her ballot.

The elections were conducted at the Kwara Hotels, Ilorin and transmitted live on NTA Network. A visibly excited NSE President, Engr. Mustapha Shehu Balarabe said that “this innovation from our engineers at NIGCOMSAT is commendable. It is novel and this has proved that so many good things could come out of Nigeria”

He added that the Nigerian engineers have led the way to what government should do in future general elections to save the Country from incessant huge capital flights.

“I believe that if our government adopts this system in future elections, it will eliminate post-election rancour and litigations.

Chairman of the NSE Elections Committee, Engr. Charles Mbanefo, also confessed that the system actually made the committee’s job light because those who won and those who lost saw the transparency of the process. “Even people who were not at the venue monitored the election because it was web-based and results were updated real-time on the dedicated website for the election,” he added

A total number of 1,313 voters registered while 1,033 were accredited to vote. The accreditation procedure was equally smooth.

A highly elated President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Dr. Chris Uwaje said that “the development shows that indigenous technology is capable of meeting global competition. Now that NIGCOMSAT Limited has demonstrated this in very exemplary format, government should constitute a national e-voting committee. NIGCOMSAT should be commended.”

National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Shuaibu Leman Usman in his reaction to the NSE e-election said “my view is that we should continue to look inward.  Satellite business is a very sensitive issue and Nigeria cannot continue to rely on foreign satellites.”

He described the e-voting election by NSE as a breakthrough for Nigeria.

The e-voting platform was designed, developed and produced by the Micro Elections Centre (MEC) at NIGCOMSAT.

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