Noah Ebije, Kaduna.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed that no fewer than one million residents of Kaduna have so far obtained the residency card introduced by the state government.
Speaking during the official flag-off the state Residency Card programme at the Miyetti Allah Primary Health Centre, Rigasa area of Kaduna city, the governor explained that the decision to introduce the card was to help the state government in planning for its social programmes in future.
The governor also said successive governments had, over the years, failed to use accurate data in planning, while noting that this had led to guesswork and inaccurate data.
For instance, he disclosed, “The overcrowded school in Rigasa made national headlines after we revealed its existence. But how did one primary school in Rigasa come about having more than 20,000 pupils”.
The governor explained that while the National Identity Card was to identify who were true Nigerians, the Kaduna Residency Card would help the state government to know who resides in the state.
While acknowledging that no fewer than one million residents had so far obtained the card, Governor el-Rufai maintained that there were 58 registration centres across the state established for the exercise.
Said he, “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 Governments.
He also noted that, “Residents of Kaduna State should note that in the near future, no citizen will enjoy some of our free or subsidised social services like basic education, healthcare or even be considered for land allocation unless he or she can provide a Kaduna State Residents Card”.
To this end, Governor el-Rufai called on religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to help in sensitising their people on the importance of obtaining the card.
Earlier, Director General, National Identity Management Committee, Alh Aliyu Azeez, remarked that the agency had captured 30.6 million Nigerians in its data base, saying, Kaduna alone has 1.6m people that had been captured.
Enumerating the importance of data for national development, the Azeez maintained that it could be used by for security planning and poverty eradication, saying at a personal level, it could be used to obtain international passport, bank account, among others.
Azeez assured of the resolve of the agency to capture every Nigerian in the next three years.
Highlights of the event included the issuance of certificate to the first person who obtained the residency card.