The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to fully deploy the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, President of the society, made the plea in a keynote address at the 5th Conference on e-Governance in Nigeria organised by the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day conference, which started on Thursday, will end on Saturday.
The theme of the conference is: “E-Government for National Democratic Consolidation and Transformation: Agenda Setting for the 2019 General Elections and Transparency in Governance.’’
According to him, there is the need for the Federal Government to leverage on ICT to enhance transparency in the electoral process and good governance.
The society president said that the nation’s electoral process was in the past characterised by a tug of war, riddled with violence, rigging and all manners of complications.
“There is the need for the Federal Government to exhibit political will in embracing ICT for the conduct of 2019 elections.
“We have the opportunity to get it right by developing a robust sustainability model and investing in high-quality Information Technology (IT) manpower,’’ he said.
Aderounmu urged the Federal Government to embrace unified database so the nation could have credible elections in the future.
Also, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Aderemi Atayero, said that the scope of ICT engagement had been relatively low, considering Nigeria’s current teledensity of 106.64 per cent and over 100 million internet subscribers.
Atayero said that there was the need for a greater deployment of ICT in governance as the nation prepared for the 2019 General Elections.
“This will consolidate our democratic processes and foster national development characterised by improved efficiency in the delivery of public services to Nigerians,’’ the vice-chancellor said.
Earlier, Prof. Ayodele Adebiyi, the Chairman, Conference Organising Committee, said that electing credible leaders for good governance and efficient service delivery had been a major problem in Nigeria and most developing countries.
Adebiyi said that the electoral process had been marred with multiple irregularities such as falsification of results, identity theft, stealing of ballot boxes, double voting and rigging.
He stressed the need for the engagement of effective ICT tools and deployment for the 2019 general elections as voting was the only critical way of electing honest and credible leaders.
“The nation needs to embrace the e-voting system in the forthcoming elections to reduce the cost of conducting elections and disenfranchisement of voters,’’ he said.