By Ogaga Ariemu
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami said the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved Digital Identification for Internally Display Persons(IDPs) in Nigeria.
Dr. Pantami, made the disclosure to the State House correspondents shortly after the end of this week’s FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
Pantami said the policy will help Federal Government to provide social amenities for IDP’s.
He stated that no fewer than three million Nigerians, equivalent to one percent of the nation’s population, are currently displaced from their homes, now living in various Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps across the country.
Mr Pantami said: “As we all know that National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 has made it mandatory that each citizen must require a National Identity Number, according to the Act’s section 5, and section 27 emphasises that it could be an offence not to acquiring the number.
“Most of us here do not have the number, but they have at least a form of identification, an official one; either driver’s license, passport for travelling and many more, but people in IDP camps do not have that usually, so we come up with a policy that will prioritise providing national identity to people living in IDPs. The policy has been entitled as National Policy for Digital Identification for Internally Displaced Persons.
“This digital ID will support government in knowing the total number of our IDPs, budgetary provision on how to take care of them, national planning with regards to their education, health and many more.
“When it comes to social intervention being provided by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, government will have an up to date record of IDPs; their number, their location and everything and government will reach out to them easily through that database that is going to be domiciled at the National Identity Management Commission.
“Based on the report during the formulation of the policy, we have around three million people living in IDP camps in Nigeria, which is more than 1% of our population. In addition, from the records that we have received in the course of the formulation, there is no single state in the country without IDPs; the highest is in Borno State with 1.4 million and the lowest is Ondo State with 1,024 persons.
“This is a policy that will provide an up-to-date record of them so that government will give them special consideration of resettling them and taking care of them. As we all know, no matter how strong you are, if you fail to take care of the weak ones, then automatically you are also a weak one. This is why we come up with the policy to prioritise them,” he said.
Recall that NIMC launched the Digital Identity Ecosystem framework to ensure mass enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents in Nigeria into a centralized, secure National Identity Database where digital identities are issued to everyone in the form of the National Identification Number (NIN).