By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Friday said that the Kaduna State Residents Card helps government to know citizens.
“It better organises access to social services like education, basic healthcare and social interventions as well as conduct business with the government without hinderance.”
The Governor also said that the residents card ‘“not only identifies someone as a resident alone; it enables you to use it as a bank card. You can use it as a debit card, as a credit card depending on the type of arrangement you have with UBA.’’
He further said that the card ‘’also enhances financial inclusion because its possession immediately gives you the opportunity to have a bank account if you didn’t have one and have a bank verification number.’’
el-Rufai who made this known at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency and United Bank for Africa (UBA) on Friday, revealed that the agency has already registered more than 3.4 million residents of Kaduna State out of a total population of about 10 million.
The governor explained that the Kaduna State Government is pleased to appoint UBA as the issuing bank for the state’s biometric residency cards.
According to him, although the agency has registered 35% of the state’s population, the officials are working round the clock to ensure that the government registers every legal resident of Kaduna state.
‘’Kaduna State Government will soon demand the production of this residents card for you to enjoy some of our social services like education and basic health care. Having the residents registration card will also enable individuals and businesses to access interventions for small and medium enterprises as well as interventions related to poverty eradication.
‘’This government has recognised citizenship as what the Nigerian constitution advocates rather than ‘indigenship’ and ‘settlership.’ We believe that the dichotomy between indigenes and settlers has brought untold problems to the country and has slowed down the unity of our great nation,’’ he said.
The governor further argued that Kaduna state is ‘’concerned about citizens of Nigeria that are registered as residents, that pay tax and contribute to the economic wellbeing of our state.’’
While thanking UBA for the collaboration, he said that the bank ‘’ has been a veritable partner of the Kaduna State government since 2015. It has been there for us in our times of need, particularly in 2017 when we had disruption in our revenue.’’
Speaking at the occasion, Reginal Head of UBA, Yusuf Isiaka expressed gratitude to partner with Kaduna State on the project, adding that ‘’this card can be used for payment and at the same time, as an identity card.’’
Yusuf said that the project is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship, just as he expressed appreciation ‘’ for the patronage and for all the businesses we’ve been having with the state.’’