President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the National Identity card would soon complement the permanent voter’s card in elections in the country.
He spoke after he was registered for his national identity card by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, it would also confirm Nigeria’s population.
Buhari said: “I think this exercise is very important to confirm our population and those who are entitled to vote, that is those who are 18 years and above. It will complement the exercise of the permanent voter’s card.
“So for those who want their votes to count from whichever party or constituency, they should ensure that they and their families are properly captured.”
The Director General of NIMC, Chris Onyemenam, said the exercise had no time limit.
He said: “It is a continuous exercise. So every enrolment centre that we have established remains open forever, they are like branches of banks.
“We are taking deliberate steps to ensure that enrollment centres are opened in each local government. In collaboration with MDAs, we are now extending it to universities. It will also be extended to primary schools and hospitals.
“With the cooperation we expect from INEC, we are meeting INEC today, it will be extended even further.
“Because of the records of births and deaths that are the primary responsibility of the Nigerian Population Commission, it will even become wider because there are more centres for the registration of births and deaths.
“Once a centre is established, it remains there and people can go and enroll at their convenient time. They will do the pre-enrollment first because going to any centre for the biometric data capture.
On how many Nigerians had been captured so far, he said: “On our data base, we have a record of seven million. In collaboration with other agencies, in the next three months or so, we hope to quadruple that number. In the past, the private sector was expected to perform that role, so government did not focus on that.
“The close to seven million that we have in our data base is the product of the pilot scheme that we embarked upon to demonstrate the value of the scheme.
“Now that the MDAs are going to step up the harmonisation, the data base will be populated in a matter of weeks.
“As a matter of fact, we are at the stage of migrating the data from the Bank Verification Number and that is about 20 million.
“We are truly on course and appreciate Mr. President for the recent directive that biometrics data bases in government agencies should be expeditiously harmonised.”