✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

2015: Jega under pressure over ballot papers

The desperation to grab the ballot papers project heightened after President Goodluck Jonathan in August, said that bank notes and security documents should henceforth be…

The desperation to grab the ballot papers project heightened after President Goodluck Jonathan in August, said that bank notes and security documents should henceforth be printed locally.
Following the President’s statement, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, who supervises the Security Printing and Minting Company, on September 3, paid a visite to the INEC headquarters, urging the electoral body to give contract for the printing of the papers to the NSPMC.
He had said, “We have come to collaborate with INEC to ensure that the objectives of ensuring that the printing of materials and transportation of materials from the printing press to the various voting centres are discussed, and we are seeking a harmonious way of handling it.”
However, before it could get an express approval from INEC, the Security Printing and Minting Company has gone ahead to purchase a ballot papers printing machine from Japan at an exorbitant cost.
Sunday Trust learnt that the machine, designed by Canon of Japan, was urgently procured through a contract given to a private organisation.
“For the first time in the history of this company,” an insider told our reporter, “the contract for the printing of security documents was given to a private organisation. Previously, the Mint used to purchase such machines directly from the manufacturers, especially De la Rue SEPA and KDA Giori. The machines used in printing N1,000, N100 and N200 notes were procured from these companies. However, in this case, the contract was hurriedly awarded to a private company. The objective is to pressurise INEC to print the ballot papers at Mint.”
Our reporter learnt that the machine is being installed at the Mint’s factory in Lagos, but there are concerns over the lack of manpower to operate it.
“It’s a Japanese technology,” the Mint source told our reporter. “It is new to the organisation, so we would require training for the personnel who would handle the printing machine.”
Sunday Trust called Professor Thomas Odozi, the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Mint and former General Manager of Mint, on the package that came along with the new printing machine, but his lines were switched off. Our reporter later gathered that Professor Odozi had travelled out of the country.
Our reporter gathered that foreign security printing companies who have over 200 years in printing ballot papers would require not less than three months to print complex ballot papers for the kind of elections that would hold in Nigeria next year. For instance, the papers would be very diverse, as special ballot papers, duly numbered would be needed for each of the senatorial, house of representatives, houses of assembly, governorship and presidential elections all over the country. Then, the diverse political parties, their logos, and other features would need to be done to perfection, as any errors would lead to electoral disputes.
In September, the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposed the printing of ballot papers locally, saying it could be manipulated. According to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ”On the surface, there is nothing wrong in having the NSPMC print electoral materials, since this will translate to more jobs for Nigerians and save money. However, against the background of the PDP-led Federal Government’s abuse of national institutions like the military and the police, which are used as the enforcement arms of the PDP during elections, it will be dangerous to have them (FG) take control of the printing of ballot papers and other electoral materials via the NSPMC.”
When asked if INEC would print the ballot papers locally or abroad, Mr Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman simply said, “INEC is handling that; it is part of the processes and it is fully on course. You see, ideally you don’t disclose your printers; this is also because of where we are coming from. You don’t disclose because you don’t want people to infiltrate them and begin to abuse the process but I can assure you that the process is on course as we speak.”
However, our reporter learnt that as a result of pressures being mounted on the electoral body, its officials were recently taken to the location of the security printing machine for inspection.
Read more on Pages BIG STORY

LEARN AFFILIATE MARKETING: Learn How to Make Money with Expertnaire Affiliate Marketing Using the Simple 3-Step Method Explained to earn $500-$1000 Per Month.
Click here to learn more.

AMAZON KDP PUBLISHING: Make $1000-$5000+ Monthly Selling Books On Amazon Even If You Are Not A Writer! Using Your Mobile Phone or Laptop.
Click here to learn more.

GHOSTWRITING SERVICES: Learn How to Make Money As a Ghostwriter $1000 or more monthly: Insider Tips to Get Started. Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.

SECRET OF EARNING IN CRYPTO: Discover the Secrets of Earning $100 - $2000 Every Week With Crypto & DeFi Jobs.
Click here to learn more.