From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
The National Identity Management Commission, (NIMC) is to issue e-identity cards for a total of 100,000 Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in Borno.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR) in collaboration with NIMC and Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), launched the pilot registration exercise in Maiduguri.
Speaking at the event, Head of UNHCR Sub- office Maiduguri, Mr. Ceasar Tshilomba said the refugee agency resolved to partner with NIMC and NBA to register the targeted IDPs in order to ease their sufferings in acquiring the e-identification card.
According to him, in partnership with government and others, UNHCR has consequently unveiled mechanisms to tackle hardships associated with IDPs to enable them exercise their basic civil rights, access a wide range of government services.
“The launch marks the official implementation of agreement signed on June 2017 between UNHCR and NINC to issue Identity cards for 100,000 IDPs in Borno state in particular and North East in general. The exercise covers areas where the incidence statelessness or those at risks of statelessness is reportedly high especially in the wake of insurgency. Several reports including the UNHCR vulnerability screening round 3 in Borno state revealed 99% of vulnerable IDPs households lacked legal documentation “, Mr. Tshilomba said.
“Before the crisis, civil registrations including that of birth were already low in the region and most of the IDPs lack identity documents. This created many challenges including discerning between refugees and IDPs in local communities, impacting their access to protection and rights. In the longer term, this may hamper the achievement of durable solution for the displaced”, he added
In his remarks, Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Abdulaziz, explained that the taking the registration exercise to the IDP camps was timely considering their poor chances of in accessing the e-identification cards.
Abdulaziz hinted that the commission is making moves to expand the exercise to other IDP camps in some local government areas across the state.
He identified insufficient staff and funds as the major obstacles hampering quick registration of the citizens in the state.
The NIMC boss noted that presently only 1,000 registration centres are operating as against the 3,500 that are required