President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national identity cards be used to authenticate eligible voters in 2019 and beyond.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced the directive at the State House in Abuja on Thursday during a policy round-table meeting on identity management organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in collaboration with the World Bank.
“It is the president’s charge that the national identification number is used to authenticate eligible voters in the nearest future,” the vice president said.
He said President Buhari also directed that the national identification number be used for “access to health, insurance, registration of sim cards, access to the social welfare programmes of this administration and for all financial transactions”.
But the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Aziz, said the president’s directive could not be met without the required funds.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President Ade Ipaye, said the government could not continue to fund “the unnecessary duplication of efforts and overlapping identity functions that further deplete its scarce resources.”
He said the development of identity programmes would help Nigeria leverage on its potentials to improve security, advance service delivery as well as to fight poverty and corruption.