The Jigawa State Independent Electoral Commission (JISIEC) says card reader would not be used in the Local Government Council Elections slated for June 26.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse, on Sunday, the JISIEC's Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Ibrahim, said that the commission would have loved to use the card reader, but due to time constraints coupled with the fact the the staff who are supposed do the job have not been trained on how to use it, this was not possible.
"Issue of card reader honestly, we are not prepared to use the card reader now.
"It is an electronic system and the person who is supposed to use it has to be trained and time is against us," Ibrahim said.
He also stated that the polls would cost the state about N1 billion, though he could not immediately give the breakdown of the electoral budget.
"The budget is almost one billion naira and we are the state with the lowest budget, because we planned to minimize our spending due to the situation that we are in and what we have is very adequate for us to conduct the elections.
"We have our own election budget, so whatever we are going to execute at a time we just have the fund to do the job.
"Actually we don't have any problem with the funding. We are well funded and we are ready for the election God-willing", the chairman said.
The chairman said that the commission's priority was to organise free and fair elections, without disenfranchising any eligible voter irrespective of whether card reader is used or not during the elections.
He assured residents of the state that the election would be conducted in all the 27 council areas.
"We have 287 wards in the 27 Local Government Areas of Jigawa State and we have 3,527 polling units," Ibrahim said, explaining that the commission also had 11,357 ad-hoc staff that would be involved in the elections.
"As at now, we have 18 political parties that have indicated interest to participate in the elections and I know others are coming. The main parties are All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and some others," Ibrahim said.
He assured that all the political parties would be given deserved attention and equal treatment, throughout the electoral process.
The chairman also announced that the sales of of nomination forms for the office of the Chairmen and Councillors would commence from Monday, May 24, and screening of the candidates would be conducted thereafter.
NAN reports that the commission had fixed N500,000 as nomination fees for the office of chairman and N250,000 for the office of councillor.