El-Rufai introduces residency card for citizens in Kaduna state
• Non-indigenes, APN, Shehu Sani condemn plan
The Kaduna State Government has introduced residency card to citizens, saying that no fewer than one million residents of the state have so far obtained the card.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who spoke during the official flag-off of the state residency card programme at Miyetti Allah Primary Health Centre, Rigasa, said the decision to introduce the card was to help the state government in planning for its social programmes in future.
El-Rufai, who said that successive governments had over the years failed to use accurate data in planning leading to guess work and inaccurate data, stated that while the national identity card is to identify who are true Nigerians, the Kaduna residency card is to help the state government know who are residing in the state.
The governor, who disclosed that there are 58 registration centres across the state for the exercise, said: “Three mobile enrolment buses are also shuttling within Kaduna metropolis, bringing the registration process to the elderly and persons living with physical disabilities.
“The ultimate goal is to ensure ease of access by scaling up the registration centres to 255 with one in each ward of our 23 local councils.
“Residents of Kaduna State should note that in the near future, no citizen will enjoy some of our free or subsidised social services such as basic education, healthcare or even be considered for land allocation unless he or she can provide a Kaduna State Resident Card.”
He, therefore, called on religious leaders, as well as traditional rulers, to help in sensitising their people over the importance of obtaining the residency card.
Meanwhile, Director-General, National Identity Management Committee, Alhaji Aliyu Azeez, said the agency had captured 30.6 million Nigerians in its database, saying that Kaduna State alone has 1.6 million people captured.
The DG, while enumerating the importance of data for national development, said it could be used by for security planning and poverty eradication, and also that at the personal level, it could be used to obtain international passport, bank account, among others.
However, some non-indigenes in the state have criticised the new programme, saying that it is targeted at them.
Some of the residents, who spoke with The Guardian on the new scheme, expressed the fear that it might be a political weapon against opponents of government, and also an instrument against non-indigenes in the state.
A resident of Kakuri in the suburb of Kaduna metropolis, Alhaji Ojuolape Razak, said: “This decision of the government to come out at the time when 2019 elections is almost by the corner speaks volumes of the plans of the government.
“Let us wait and see how the government will execute this programme in Kaduna State. Are they saying that we can no longer rely on the statistics provided by the National Population Commission (NPC) for the state’s planning needs?”
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