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Reps to begin e-voting Wednesday — Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said voting by members of the chamber on serious legislations would become electronic from Wednesday.

Gbajabiamila made this known as part of announcements he made at the opening of the plenary, on Tuesday.

The Speaker noted that e-voting was introduced as part of the reforms by his leadership.

He said, “In front of you on your seats, you have little panels that we installed. This is in keeping with some of the reforms we have talked about, that Nigerians will see. By tomorrow, I expect it to be fully operational. The whole system is based on the fact that we will soon now be having e-voting in this chamber.

Now, this will not be applicable to all motions and bills because we have several of them. For those that we consider important and of significance, we will be adopting the e-voting system.

“We don’t need your voting cards anymore, you only need to press a button; and it tells you who voted, which side they voted for.

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This is for the purpose of accountability which we have promised Nigerians. Everybody needs to be accountable to their constituents, to make sure we are doing exactly what they asked us to come and do here. So, I am glad to announce that progress has been made. I believe that by tomorrow, everything will be fully operational.”

The Speaker also announced that Internet facility had been provided in and around the building to aid legislative activities.

“Secondly, the building and the premises are now fully wi-fi enabled. So, it will be more convenient for members, especially those who want to do their research both in the offices and around the offices, moving forward from today,” Gbajabiamila said.

Earlier, the Speaker inaugurated an ad hoc committee on the review of the House standing rules with Mr Julius Ihonvbere as the chairman. He however did not read out their terms of reference.

It was observed that some members had difficulty locating their seats.

The Speaker had set up a committee to allocate chamber seats and offices to the lawmakers.

At the resumption on Tuesday, the seats had been allocated with the names of members written on them.

While members of the ruling/majority party sat on a side of the isle, the opposition/minority members sat on the other side. Also, lawmakers are seated from the front roll based on their ranks.

The size of the 360-member chamber made it difficult for new lawmakers to locate their seats.