As the controversy continues to trail the production and supply of the permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) for the elections, it has emerged that a Nigerian company, ACT.Technologies Limited, was awarded a N2.6 billion contract by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the PVCs, which was in turn sub-contracted to a Chinese firm.
Based on the electronic payments exclusively obtained from INEC by THISDAY, the transfers showed that over N2.6 billion was paid to the Nigerian company where Bola Tinubu has substantial interest, for the production and supply of over 68.8 million PVCs within a period of seven months.
It was further gathered that the PVCs were expected to be produced at a unit cost of N65.
THISDAY gathered that the electronic payment mandate for the production of the PVCs was routed through two banks, an Islamic Bank – JAIZ Bank – and the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited between 2013 and 2014, which showed that ACT.Technologies charged with the production of the PVCs had been fully paid, but is yet to supply all the PVCs for the elections.
A breakdown of the payment mandate showed that INEC on February 14, 2013 paid the sum of N489,937,500 to ACT.Technologies, being part payment for the production of the PVCs. The money was paid through JAIZ Bank.
Another transfer of N585 million was made on July 16, 2013 to the company via FCMB; on June 11, 2013, N293,962,500 was effected through JAIZ Bank; while on August 13, 2013, INEC paid N130 million.
In addition, N234 million was paid to ACT.Technologies for the supply of 40 million PVCs through JAIZ Bank on January 24, 2014, while the last transfer of N590,871,418 was made on February 19, 2014.
All the electronic payment mandates were signed by the Secretary of INEC, Augusta Ogakwu; Director of Finance, Hajiya Salamatu Ibrahim; and Director of Budget, T.W. Afannga.
According to an INEC source, despite the full payment for the contract, a batch of PVCs were yet to be produced.
Shortly after the elections were postponed, Jega had informed the Senate that some 800,000 to one million PVCs had still not arrived the country from China.