Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology

Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said solar powered electronic voting system produced by National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is ready for use.

Onu made this known on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, the product is of world standard designed for effective and efficient voting.

He said using of the indigenous voting system for 2019 or 2022 could only be decided by Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

“We have improved on our solar powered electronic voting system so much that we have taken it to INEC and show it to the chairman and all the National Commissioners. They were very impressed.

“We took it to the National Economic Council where the Vice President is chairman and all our governors are members and showed it to them.”

But I can’t say when the solution will be used whether in 2019 or 2022 that is a decision to be taken by INEC but our law now allows electronic voting, he said.”

Onu said the aim of developing the solar-powered electronic voting machine for collating results was to ensure free and fair elections as well as to tackle current electoral challenges.

The minister said the machine had provision for real-time election results collation as voting progressed and provision for Diaspora voting.

He said the solar-powered electronic voting system developed was built on the gains of the present INEC.

In another development, the minister said the government was presently discussing with some countries towards having a constellation of satellites.

“This means that instead of one country having one satellite, many countries can have many satellites that can do so many things.

“Then you pull the resources together and pull the data together from all participating countries. So in that way, you share cost and also share data and it is more cost-effective.”

“We have very serious constraints in terms of funding but we are working on how we can have funding for research and innovation in the country from outside the budget,” he said.

He said the Federal Government was still working on the speeding limit system of a Nanosatellite set up last year at National Space Research and Development Agency to bring the cost down.

He said the government was also intensifying effort to ensure the Nanosatellite was the best in the country and world.

According to him, using the Made in Nigeria satellite will cut a lot of costs and provide jobs.