The Nigerian Society of Engineers has honoured the immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, with its merit award for introducing electronic voting system into the country.
The award was presented at the NSE’s 2015 third quarterly dinner in Lagos.
The dinner came with the conferment of the society’s Merit Award and Fellowship status on some eminent Nigerians who had contributed significantly to national development.
Speaking shortly after receiving the award, Jega acknowledged the role of engineers and technology in the national development, saying the future belongs to countries which adopt the use of technology appropriately.
Highlighting the importance of electronic voting for the country, the former INEC boss said, “I will like to congratulate the President of the NSE for using electronic voting.
“Many countries are already using it. In Nigeria we are not yet there because there is a constitutional hindrance which prohibits electronic voting, but we have made recommendation when I was in the INEC to the National Assembly.
“We have recommended that the clause which prohibits electronic voting should be removed so that we can begin to look at the possibilities of introducing electronic voting in the country.”
Jega, however, noted that Nigerian engineers were capable and could compete with counterparts across the globe.
He said, “I must hereby say that we were able to do this relying solely on the ingenuity of very young Nigerian engineers. The software which was used for the biometric registration was developed by a young Nigerian engineer.
“We need to encourage all our young engineers. They have tremendous potential to do great things for the development of our motherland.”
The President, NSE, Mr. Ademola Olorunfemi, said the quarterly dinner had over the years served as a platform for interaction and networking for engineers under a friendly atmosphere.
He noted that 18 engineers had been conferred with the fellowship of the NSE.