President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday registered for the National Identity Card at the State House, Abuja.
Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, supervised the process which was carried out by his officials inside the Villa.
After obtaining his temporary ID card, President Buhari said that the process was necessary to confirm the true population of Nigeria.
According to the President, the exercise will also enable the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to establish Nigerians that are eligible to vote during elections since it will complement the permanent voter cards.
“I think this exercise is very important to confirm our population and those who are entitled to vote, that is those who are 18 years and above. It will complement the exercise of the permanent voter’s card.”
The President further called on Nigerians in the age bracket of 18 years and above to come out and register and obtain their National Identity cards.
He continued: “So, for those who want their votes to count from whichever party or constituency, they should ensure that they and their families are properly captured.”
Also speaking to State House Correspondents, the DG of NIMC explained that the exercise was a continuous one.
According to him, every enrolment centre established by the commission remains open forever and will operate like banks.
“We are taking deliberate steps to ensure that enrolment centres are opened in each local government. In collaboration with MDAs, we are now extending it to universities. It will also be extended to primary schools and hospitals.
“With the cooperation we expect from INEC, we are meeting INEC today, it will be extended even further.
He said that “Because of the records of births and deaths that are the primary responsibility of the Nigerian Population Commission, NPC, it will even become wider because there are more centres for the registration of births and deaths.
“Once a centre is established, it remains there and people can go there and enrol at their convenience. They will do the pre-enrolment first because going to any centre for the biometric data capture.
Mr. Chris added that “On our data base, we have a record of seven million. In collaboration with other agencies, in the next three months or so, we hope to quadruple that number. In the past, the private sector was expected to perform that role, so government did not focus on that.
“The close to seven million that we have in our data base is the product of the pilot scheme that we embarked upon to demonstrate the value of the scheme.
“Now that the MDAs are going to step up the harmonisation, the data base will be populated in a matter of weeks. As a matter of fact, we are at the stage of migrating the data from the Bank Verification Number, BVN and that is about 20million.

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