BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR,
National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), has begun the development of solar powered electronic voting machine with cloud-based collection of election results capability which will guarantee free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, who announced this at the weekend at a media briefing in Abuja, said the development of the e-voting machine had reached advanced stage, adding that it would enhance e-voting in Nigeria and help ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
Onu pointed out that the gains of this initiative toward enhancing our democratic process were enormous.
NASENI is one of the 17 agencies under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
While reviewing the major achievements of his ministry and agencies under it, the minister posited that since assumption of office, over three years ago, that remarkable results have been recovered.
He noted that another agency, the National Space and Development Agency [NASRDA], had pursued with vigour the production of Communication and Earth observation Satellites for the country.
At the completion of work, he said, the satellite would transfer same to public private companies to manage and generate funds through leasing of Satellite bandwidths for communication, broadband and broadcasting services.
“To further help Nigeria check the danger of flooding, a Flood Monitoring System (FMS) has been developed by NASRDA that will help in monitoring real time ground Water level, as a way of checking the incidence of flood occurrence.
“Satellite images from NASRDA have also been employed by various States of the Federation and National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] in disaster management across the country,” he said.
In the area of petroleum resources, Onu said the ministry has begun work in the finger-printing of the nation’s crude oil to reduce oil theft, adding that FMST was working with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] to introduce methanol into Nigeria’s fuel for use in both transportation and power generation.
He said this initiative would lead to reduction in the cost of fuel among other advantages.
The minister who underscored the need for the deployment of science and technology in all strata of the Nigerian economy, said “The prospects are bright, that we will succeed in deploying science and technology as the new engine that will help Nigeria reduce capital flight, enhance local productive capacity, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity and enhance national pride, as an independent sovereign nation.
“I am confident that if we sustain the strides we have begun, science and technology will become the key that will open Nigeria’s door for a truly great nation.
“This will reposition Nigeria for the challenges of a post crude oil era, in a fast-changing world. This is important because Section 18 (2) of our 1999 Constitution as amended, clearly states that science and technology should be promoted in the country.
“Section 13 of the same Constitution mandates all the three arms of government to ensure that this is done. I am convinced that we are on the right road to success. We will succeed, by the Grace of God.
“Science, technology and innovation will be the catalysts that can help Nigeria chart a new course of prosperity and self-sufficiency, anchored on sustainable economic diversification.
“In doing so, we have been driven by the knowledge that no country has ever become great without placing emphasis on science, technology and innovation.
“Indeed, a nation can be rich but certainly not great without the effective deployment of science and technology,” he asserted.