The Lagos State Government yesterday began the distribution of the Lagos resident cards to residents of the state who had been registered in the ongoing registration, which the government says is to aid planning, budgeting and determination of the number of persons that are to be provided for.
With the commencement of the distribution of the permanent cards, the government said residents, who had been registered and issued the temporary cards could pick up their cards from the nearest registration point to them.
Fashola, who spoke at the unveiling of the Lagos State Resident cards, lamented the low turnout of residents even as he hinted of a possible closure of the registration exercise, “some time in June 2015,” saying it was costing the state government a lot of money, paying staff engaged for the project.
The exercise, which began last year, has not recorded impressive response from the residents as less than 3 million of the estimated 20 million population have so far been registered.
The governor, who described the exercise as the way of the future with lots of benefits including the creation of reliable database, urged all residents yet to register to do so in their interest.
“We have taken a big step into the future. This is not about today but about tomorrow. I get embarrassed when figures are read out that in Nigeria we are 140, sometimes 160, sometimes 170 million depending on who is speaking. I usually question how they arrived at those figures. Truth is that if you don’t know how many you are, you cannot plan for them. This is about knowing exactly how many people live in Lagos so that we can adequately plan for them,” said the governor.
He said because the registration exercise was providing a database for every resident of the state, it would help a great deal in tracking criminals because of the availability of the bio-data/ identities, saying this was where the developed economies had advantage when it came to tracking crimes and criminals. “This is possible in Lagos if the people change their mindset,” said Fashola.
Earlier, the General Manager of Lagos State Residents’ Registration Agency (LASRRA), Olayinka fashola , who reemphasised the importance of accurate data for planning purposes, said the registration was for all residents of Lagos who had lived six months and above in the state.
She said to make the exercise simpler and less stressful, the agency had also created an online platform www.lagosresidents.gov.ng where residents could register online before taking the print-out to their nearest registration centres in the state.