By Sunday Efa
The Cross River Coordinator of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Godwin Odey has said that only 300, 000 out of the over 4.2 million residents in the State have registered for the compulsory National Identity Number.
According to him, “This means that only 7 percent of the population has been captured in the National database despite the January 1, 2019 deadline for registration into the scheme which followed the Federal Executive Council’s approval of the immediate implementation of a strategic roadmap for “digital identity ecosystem”- a framework that leverages on the capabilities and infrastructure of distinct government agencies and private sector organizations to carry out enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National identity database.
Mr. Odey who disclosed this on Monday in Calabar during an exclusive interview with CrossRiverWatch also averred that there is need for stakeholders to contribute in ways that will see Cross Riverians turn out en masse for the registration.
“From January next year, individuals and corporate organizations who have not registered into the National Identity database, apart from being denied access to some transactions, will suffer fine of NGN500,000 for individuals and NGN10 million for corporate organisations as stipulated in NIMC Act23, 2007,” Odey said, adding that: “Cross River State has an estimated population of 4.2 million and we have registered only about three hundred thousand, which is a far-cry from the population of Cross Riverians that we have.”
He called on concerned Cross Riverians and Nigerians at large to work together to meet the State’s target before the deadline.
“We need to get all the corporate bodies, government, religious bodies and individuals to come together and see how we can assist Cross riverians registered because we have just October, November and December,” Odey said.
Mr. Odey also clarified that “enrollment is free,” while urging the public to watch out for fraudsters as well as extortionists and report such by calling the numbers pasted on the walls of their office in Calabar, along the Murtala Muhammed highway.
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