From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The Lagos state government on Tuesday began the distribution of the Lagos resident cards, a proof of residency in the state, 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, residents who had been registered and issued the temporary cards can pick up their cards from the nearest registration point to them.
Fashola, 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, sometime 160, sometime 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”, Fashola said.
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 are where the developed economies have advantage when it comes to tracking crimes and criminals. “This is possible in Lagos if the people change their mindset”, he added.
The General Manager of Lagos State Resident Residents’ Registration Agency (LASRRA),Olayinka Fashola, stressed the importance of accurate data for planning purposes, said the registration was for all residents of Lagos who has lived six months and above.