Zinox Technologies Limited, one of the Original Equipment Manufac-turers contracted by INEC to supply 80,000 DDC Machines for the 2011 voters’ registration exercise, has assured Nigerians of a timely delivery of the INEC order and appealed to stake holders to exercise caution in all matters relating to the machines.
We were alarmed when the Clearing Agents, commissio-ned to clear the first batch of the DDC Machines, reported on Tuesday 7/12/10, that the consignment had been tampered with. On further questioning we discovered that an entire pallet containing 20 machines was missing.
We promptly reported the loss to the Nigerian Customs and other relevant authorities for investigation and necessary action. That same evening we received calls from the media asking for a confirmation or denial of the report.
By Wednesday morning the entire scene had acquired a larger than life image as security agencies and many well meaning Nigerians began to probe who did it? Why?
How? And When?
When we accepted to supply 80,000 of the 132,000 units of the DDC Machines required to create a reliable database for the 2011 and future elections in Nigeria we were fully aware that the assignment would have deep national security implications.
The Zinox Group, Africa’s most integrated ICT firm, has rich experience as the prime mover of bulk ICT products in West Africa for all known ICT brands. The Group has logistics arms in the UK and the Netherlands through which they have met the ICT needs of the West African market.
Through the years we have come to adopt the professional practice of making adequate provision for damages and theft while placing orders. In importation loss could come from handling, climatic conditions, or even poor regulatory conditions.
The point being made here is that adequate provision has been made for marginal loss by our logistics arms while ordering the components of the DDC Machines. Therefore, the loss of 20 machines would not affect the ability of Zinox to deliver the 80,000 ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, nor would it affect the delivery schedule.
The loss through theft of 20 DDC Machines attracted so much public interest because of the fear that the stolen machines could be used to thwart the national objectives for free and fair elections in 2011.
We appreciate these fears but we must quickly add that the stolen machines could not have been used for anything because they were yet to go through the Zinox assembling plant for configuration and integration. They would have been useless to anyone intending electoral mischief.