By Christiana Onuoha
With a view to providing basic information about the citizens to government and security agencies following the growing security challenges facing the country, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has called on the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to intensify efforts to ensuring that eligible Nigerians are registered and issued with national identification cards.
The Governor also noted that NIMC in its statutory responsibility will help address the issue of paucity of data for development planning in Abia and across the states of the federation.
Governor Ikpeazu who made this call when he received the management of the Commission led by the State Coordinator, Mr Loveday Chika Ogbonna, who were on a courtesy visit at Abia Government House in Umuahia, went on to stressed that accurate data collection is sacrosanct for proper identification of citizens and allocation of resources.
The Governor also expressed his willingness to support the Commission in their work of registering citizens, and added that accurate data, demographic information and relevant statistics will also ensure total elimination of ghost workers, boost the IGR drive of the State and also help in the prevention and control of crimes.
Represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Ikpeazu noted that lack of accurate demographic data has been the bane of development as budget and planning are often hinged on wrong data, which he said affects the distribution of amenities, elections, economy and development negatively.
Assuring the Commission the support of his government, he revealed that a committee will soon be set up in the 17 LGAs of the State comprising TC Chairmen and opinion leaders to assist the agency ensure total registration of citizens.
Earlier in his remarks, NIMC State Coordinator Mr Loveday Chika Ogbonna, stated that the Commission is determined to ensure full registration of residents of the state and urged the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration to support the commission achieve success.
Present at the event was Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Head of Service, Sir Onyi Wamah, Permanent Secretaries and other top government personnel.