ALHAJI Garba Balarabe, the Coordinator of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Sokoto State has decried the poor enrollment awareness among rural dwellers in the state to obtain the national identity cards.
Balarabe disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Wednesday.
He said that relevant stakeholders should intensify their efforts by mobilising people at all levels to obtain the national identity cards in recognition of its importance.
He said that the agency had 16 registration centres that covered the 23 local government areas of the state and decried the poor turnout of people, especially, the indigenes of Sokoto State.
The coordinator said that poor enrollment and attempts by aliens to secure the identity cards had remained the agency’s challenges in the state.
According to him, the agency registered between 4,000 and 5,000 people weekly.
He said that when the NIMC scrutinized the figure, a higher percentage of those that registered were indigenes of other states resident in Sokoto State.
He noted that due to the state’s proximity to the Niger Republic, foreigners made attempts to register at border communities of Illela town and other suburbs.
Balarabe assured the residents of the state that its personnel would remain vigilant in order to detect such aliens trying to acquire Nigerian identity without following due process.
“ We ensure constant collaboration between traditional institutions and local government officials to monitor foreigners that attempt to register.
“Most of the indigenes that come for registration either have bank registration or anchor borrower scheme challenges that were mandated to obtain national identity card identification.
“The programme is for Nigerians and legal residents with vast national importance on planning, identification and other purposes and enjoined people to come forward to obtain the cards,’’ he said.
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The coordinator, who declined to disclose enrollment figure so far, however, said the agency had captured reasonable percentage and people were still coming out to register.
Balarabe also appealed to the people to be patient with the NIMC regarding when it would start the issuance of permanent cards to them.
According to him, the most important thing is for a person to obtain the identification number adding that the permanent cards will be issued to them in due course.
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