By Oluwatobi Opusunju
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has partnered the Kaduna State Government for the launch of its Residency Card Registration Programme targeted at promoting financial and social inclusion of residents in the state. The programme was officially flagged-off by the Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the DG/CEO of NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz this week at Rigasa in Kaduna State.
The residency card is designed to serve as a multi-purpose functioning card with which residents can perform transactions as well as also help the government take informed decision in the planning of critical infrastructure development in the state among other functions.
Mallam el-Rufai saidt the state was partnering with the NIMC to deliver the residency cards to all residents in Kaduna State and also key into the national programme of populating the unique national identity database.
He said the programme would enable the government to better plan, implement and monitor the delivery of essential public services, adding that there are 58 Residency Card Registration Centres currently across the state to ensure ease of access.
“The government is better able to develop and implement targeted initiatives and provide social services which would ensure that no one is left behind, especially our poorest and most vulnerable. Through this process, government will gather population records that capture the data of all residents in Kaduna State and use this data to plan properly for the provision of schools, hospitals, roads and other critical infrastructure.
“The Residency Card will also serve as an all-in-one multi-purpose card for identification, a debit card for financial transactions, a platform for receiving salaries and other means of social service delivery for financial inclusion,” he said.
The NIMC’s boss lauded the governor for championing state registration programmes in the country, and explained that registration for the residency card also allows every resident of the state to have a National Identification Number (NIN), which is crucial for planning purposes.
Over 1.1 million Kaduna residents have been registered into the National Identity Database out of about 6.3 million people estimated to be in the state, according to Aziz.
Mallam el-Rufai encouraged residents in the state to locate a registration centre close to them to register, as citizens will not enjoy some free or subsidized social services like basic education, healthcare or land allocation in the near future, unless they provide a Kaduna State Residents Card.
He also appealed to traditional rulers, religious and community leaders to help sensitize citizens, intensify advocacy and enlightenment to ensure that all residents across communities get registered. The first one million registrants will be rewarded, the governor announced as an inducement to get people to register.