Mixed results for Nigeria’s biometric vote pilot
12 March 2015 14:25 GMT

The pilot was held in 225 polling units and 358 voting centres across the country’s 12 states.

Nigeria held a field test of biometric smart card readers in hundreds of polling units and voting centres across the country on 7 March with some areas reporting smooth operations and other noting voter issues.

Held in 225 polling units and 358 voting centres across the country’s 12 states, correspondents told local media that all went well in Lagos. However, in Kano some 40% had difficulties with biometric data and fingerprinting.

In January, Nigeria's top security adviser told the Nigeria Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) to delay an election scheduled for February until biometric voter registration cards were distributed to all voters.

The INEC has since extended the deadline for collection of biometric Permanent Voters' Cards (PVCs) across the country until 22 March. The country will now hold elections on March 28, a six-week delay after its initial date. 

A coalition of NGOs have welcomed the results of the pilot.

"On the basis of the test and assurances of improvement, Situation Room calls on the full use and deployment of the card readers and PVCs for the 2015 general elections," said the Civil Societies Organisations.

However, the CSO added that the "INEC should work on processes and options that will facilitate and fine-tune the biometric authentication process."