Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) has harped on the need for residents within Anambra State to be issued with identity cards, through a State’s managed motor vehicle departments and local government Areas/Communities.
The ACSONET believes the service will help to improve proper data and record-keeping of residents of the state.
The group is also advocating that the process be linked to local, state, and national data files that would also help to guard against duplications of enrolled identities of individuals including, guidance against identity theft.
The ACSONET Chairman, Prince Chris Azor, who is a Co-Chair Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Anambra State, explained that the suggestion is to curb growing insecurity across the state, and country, as the data including fingerprints would be linked with security agencies for proper identification and fishing out of those who are into criminality.
He also said the principal goal of the State ID Card should be to serve residents adequately through better planning.
“With informed data, the State government would have enough information to plan, including knowing what and where to site facilities, as well as which should be upgraded.
“It is not just for identification but also a tool to simplify how residents access government social services and financial tractions.
“The Card should have a chip for technology driven operationalization and linkage.
“Also, the State-issued ID cards would serve as an added identification card to any other form(s) of identification(s) that a bearer already has.
“The Card should be issued through biometric capturing, and revalidated after a stipulated period of time,” he said.
Azor proposed that the possession of the State-issued ID card would be an acceptable alternative for people that have no national passport to present as a primary identification when requested by banks, airlines, hotels, hospitals, courts, law enforcement agencies, schools, potential employers, and other related businesses.
This tracking system, he said, will help the state, to be abreast of goings-on within their borders or occurrences in the past, in order to plan affairs accordingly, while addressing global issues around countries that they collaborate with on several matters.
“Issuance of Identity Cards should be decentralized to the State, local government levels and Communities.
“This has been done in the issuance of Identification Letter by the Local Government Councils and State Liaison Offices in Lagos, Abuja and some other States of the Federation.
“It is now imperative to have this issuance done at the communities, local and State government levels because it would add value to the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations as she would be seen as a serious country with authentic and reliable data of her citizens hence, attract investors and development partners,” he said.
The CSO lead in Anambra, also asked the States and Federal Government of Nigeria to consider issuance of National and State Welfare Cards (WCs) which would be an equivalent of (Social Security Card issued by the Federal Social Security Administration Department of the United States).
“When activated it would be issued to Nigerians including, newborn babies from active productive through retirement, to assist citizens if they suffer any form of disabilities down the line.
“This initiative has become imperative considering the spate of crime and general insecurity across the State and indeed most parts of the country.
“Recall that sometimes in the year 2010, Anambra State Government planned to issue identity cards to the residents to curb what it described then as the “high level of insecurity” in the State.
“The initiative was abandoned probably due to lack of political will.
“The implementation of State’s issued Identification and Social Welfare Card (SWC) will help Anambra, other States in Nigeria and the Federal Government to maintain adequate identification and profile-based tracking system of her citizens and residents with minimal issues or loopholes.
“It would also, help in innovative operationalization and management of a State Social Security and Protection Policy activities,” Azor concluded.