By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – The Bayelsa government on Thursday described the residents’ apathy to the ongoing enrolment in the National Identity Card scheme as “appalling.”
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson made the remarks when officials of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) visited him in Yenagoa.
Iworiso-Markson said that the 250, 000 enrolment figure recorded by the state in the last two months was too low and uncalled for.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerians without a National Identity Card will be disqualified from obtaining an international passport come January.
Nigeria first introduced a National Identity Card in 2005, but its adoption then was not widespread.
Iworiso-Markson urged the Bayelsa people to see the exercise as a priority and their basic right as citizens.
He expressed shock that out of the 30 million Nigerians registered so far, only about 250, 000 registered from Bayelsa, a figure he described as very “disturbing.”
Iworiso-Markson blamed the development, partly on inadequate public enlightenment campaign.
He urged the commission to increase its sensitisation programmes to enable more unregistered Bayelsa people know the importance of the identity card.
The commissioner pledged the support of the state government to assist the commission in carrying out aggressive campaign on the enrolment.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of NIMC, Ibiba Bob-Manuel, said that the people would be more aware of the scheme when the community radio in each of the three senatorial zones as proposed by the government takes off.
Bob-Manuel appealed to the citizens to register and highlighted the disadvantages of not registering to include; denial of International Passport, Driver’s Licence, scholarship, among others.