The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega, has reiterated the commission’s preparedness to issue 73 million permanent voter cards before the end of this year. Prof Jega spoke at the quarterly meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, yesterday. He said the commission has gone far with the process. The voter cards are to replace the temporary ones issued at the end of the voters’ registration in 2011. The cards are valid for 10 years. Last year, the Federal Government approved N2.6 billion for the printing of 40 million out of the 75 million permanent voter cards in the first phase of the project. The government has approved additional N33.5 million for the project’s second phase. “By the time the contract is executed, all the registered voters will have their permanent voter cards produced. It is our hope that all the cards will be distributed before the end of the year,” he said. He listed the security features of the electronic cards as embedded chips with printed voters’ details, photograph barcode, micro-text, hologram and fingerprints.