The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved N2.6 billion for the first phase of the printing of permanent electronic voters’ cards for distribution to registered voters in the country.

The decision by the council at its meeting recently was to meet up with the requirement for future elections in the country.

The cards would contain security features such as hologram, microtext, guilloche, barcode, fingerprints, contact less/ embedded chip with printed voters details and photograph that would last for average of 10 years.

Section 16 of the 2010 Election Act as amended mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to print and issue voters cards to all the registered voters in the country and pursuant to this, the commission issued temporary voters cards to 73.5 million voters that were registered during the 2011 nationwide registration exercise.

INEC would be expected to print additional cards next year to meet the requirement of voters in the country.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the project was part of government’s commitment to transparent and credible elections in the country ahead of the 2015 election.

The contractor handling the project is expected to conclude work within seven months.

—Yisa Jamiu