Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Monday said the stress many Nigerians passed through while trying to acquire their Permanent Voter Cards would have been eliminated had Nigeria succeeded at its attempts on the National Identity Card.
He stated this while he was officially presented with his identity card by the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission, Mr. Chris Onyenmena, at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
Fashola, after receiving his ‘Unique National Identity Card’, said the country was paying dearly for its previous failed attempts at capturing the biometrics of Nigerians in a common database.
He said, “I need to emphasize that this is a very important undertaking for all Nigerians. What we have not got right in the previous exercise, we are all paying for it now. One cannot overemphasize the role a common and reliable identity management exercise will play.
“Government cannot provide services for people who will remain anonymous, but the National Identity Card will help the government in doing many things in terms of planning. If this had been done successfully, it would have eliminated or substantially reduced the stress we put ourselves through in order to get the PVC to vote”.
Earlier, Mr. Onyenmena had made a distinction between a Unique Identification Card and ordinary cards, saying the unique identification was biometric-based.
Onyenmena said, “We are here to present your Unique Identity Card to you and thank you for the support you have been giving to the commission. I recall that Lagos and Abuja were selected for the pilot scheme of the exercise. We are presently operating from 23 locations.
“The distinction between Unique Identification Card and the normal card is when a card is issued based on a unique database, then you are talking about a unique identification. It is usually based on unique set of standards, especially when it is founded on the biometrics, like the fingerprints or the face or the eyes.
“What the National Identity Management Commission is charged to do is to provide the foundation identity”.