By; FUNMI OROYE ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Wednesday said that the Residency Card Programme is aimed at building a robust and secure database of residents for effective public administration and delivery of sustainable social services.
Malam el-Rufa’i, stated this at the flag-off of the Kaduna State Residency Card Programme, held at Rigasa, on Wednesday, in Kaduna.
The Governor said the programme is designed to enable the government to better plan, implement and monitor the delivery of essential public services.
“It is a logical extension of the steps we have taken since 2015 to launch a data revolution and reverse the absence of concise data and accurate information on the demographics of the state and other socio-economic indices.”
According to him, “the government is better able to develop and implement targeted initiatives and provide social services which would ensure that no one is left behind, especially our poorest and most vulnerable.
“Through this process, government will gather population records that capture the data of all residents in Kaduna State and use this data to plan properly for the provision of schools, hospitals, roads and other critical infrastructure.
“The Residency Card will also serve as an all-in-one multi-purpose card for identification, a debit card for financial transactions, a platform for receiving salaries and other means of social service delivery for financial inclusion, ” he pointed out.
He explained further, “the Programme is also a strategic part of our e-Governance automation platform with Microsoft.
“Most importantly, after registration, residents will also have a unique identification number from the National Identity Management Commission, which will help in checkmating identity fraud and improve the level of trust in the society.
“This will also allow for thorough evidence-based justice system and effective law enforcement activities in our State.
El-Rufai said, “the health sector is already delivering on manifesto commitment to provide free health care in public hospitals for the vulnerable in our society, especially pregnant women, children below five years and senior citizens.
He noted that if the health sector managers know precisely how many residents of the state are within this segment, and where they are!
He expressed “the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government is already piloting the payment of N5,000 monthly to some beneficiaries in some of the poorest parts of our state.
Elrufai said, “it would be much better if the FGN knew each and every citizen that can benefit from this monthly cash transfer programme.
Describing the situation in the education sector he further illustrates the importance of accurate data, the overcrowded school in Rigasa made national headlines after they revealed its existence.
“But how did one primary school in Rigasa come about having more than 20,000 pupils? Was any agency tracking population growth in the area, and responding with projects to expand the school capacity to meet the demographic explosion?
“A modern government needs to know the vital socio-economic statistics, or it will be reduced to the uncertainty of guesswork, groping in the dark and thereby wasting public resources by not matching projects and services with actual needs.
He recalled, in 2016, they embarked on a journey, in partnership with the National Identity Management Commission, to deliver Residency Cards to all residents in Kaduna State through the Kaduna State Residency Card Programme.
“Currently, there are 58 Residency Card Registrations Centres across Kaduna State.
“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.
The Governor called on all residents of Kaduna State to please locate a registration centre close to them or any of the mobile buses and please register.
ElRufai, recognize the first and one millionth registrants, and request them to come forward and receive their certificates.
“Residents of Kaduna State should note that at in the near future, no citizen will enjoy some of the free or subsidized social services like basic education, healthcare or even be considered for land allocation unless he or she can provide a Kaduna State Residents Card, he added.
He urge each and every citizen of Kaduna to register and obtain his or her State Resident Card as soon as possible.
ElRufai appeal to traditional rulers, religious and community leaders to help sensitize our citizens, intensify advocacy and enlightenment to ensure that all residents in your communities register as a matter of urgency.