Lagos – An Information Technology (IT) Consultant, Mrs Treasure Uchegbu, on Monday decried the slow pace of registration for the newly-introduced National Identification (ID) Card.
Uchegbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the indifference Nigerians were exhibiting toward the possession of the Identification card was worrisome.
She wondered whether the indifference could be as a result of low awareness or insufficient registration centres.
“The National ID card scheme is a laudable one, which will benefit individual Nigerians themselves, and the nation, as a whole.
“One of the ideas behind the scheme is to create a national database.
“The absence of such a database has been a hindrance to national development.
“With a comprehensive national database, information about any Nigerian will be available at the push of a button, which is what obtains in the developed countries,’’ she said.
Uchegbu stressed that the card would be very useful for multiple purposes, so all Nigerians should endeavour to possess one, as soon as possible.
The consultant noted that a major advantage of the scheme was that the new national ID card would help facilitate several civil activities and business transactions, making life easier for individuals, as well as organisations and groups.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
She, therefore, noted that the card may become heavily sought-after, when registration for it is closed and the card becomes operational.
“Reactions to the national ID card scheme may be like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), where the card would be sought-after by Nigerians at the expiration of the deadline.
“We, as a people should learn to do things normally, without being forced, especially for a scheme that has so many advantages.
“We can use it to take care of our demography, voter registration, and other important national data issues,’’ Uchegbu noted.
She called on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to undertake more awareness programmes so that many more Nigerians could become enlightened about the scheme.
NAN recalls that the former Director-General of the NIMC, Dr Chris Onyemenam, said recently that 20 million, out of the 167 million Nigerians, had already been captured in the scheme, which was introduced in 2013.
The NIMC said at the introduction of the scheme that the new national ID cards would be MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards, with electronic payment capability.
It also said that the programme would be the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.
The NIMC, which is behind the rollout, is trying to integrate several government databases, including that for the drivers’ licence, voter registration, health insurance, taxes, and the national pension scheme, in the card.
It added that when fully operational as a prepaid payment tool, a cardholder could deposit funds on the card, receive social benefits, and pay for goods and services at any of the 35 million MasterCard acceptance locations globally.
The NIMC said the card would also be useful to withdraw cash from all ATMs that accept the MasterCard or engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments.