House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, has introduced electronic voting system in the conduct of legislative business of the House.
The Speaker, who announced the adoption of the electronic voting system last Thursday, said it was in compliance with the Legislative Agenda of the 8th Assembly.
In line with the new rule, forms have been distributed to individual Members of the House to collate their data ahead of production of e-voting cards to all the 360 Rep Members.
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Using this new voting system implies that records and statistics of each member’s punctuality and voting patterns can easily be accessed by his/her constituents and members of the public.
According to details of the Legislative Agenda as adopted by the 8th Assembly early last year, the document quotes:
“The 8th House commits to the use of ICT in the daily conduct of legislative activities of the House. E-parliament and e-voting platforms will be made a regular feature of the House.”
“E-voting will be used regularly during voting to properly reflect voting records of Members and parliamentary accountability. The House shall collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal of an e-parliament.”
The e-parliament system will operate on a platform of modern, and up-to-date computer technology, internet and intranet access supported by computerized legislative information management system that will be put in place to support it.
Also, the Speaker revealed that the House plans other initiatives that will be introduced as well. These include the establishment and equipping of a Parliamentary Information Centre.
This Information Centre is where information and documents of the National Assembly will be made available. Speaker Dogara believes doing this will further increase citizens’ access to the legislature and solve the problem of public access to authentic documents of parliament.