Nigeria is set to conduct the digital registration of all about three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) now taking refuge in camps across the country as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari approved the measure on Wednesday.
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, told journalists at the end of the 23rd virtual Council meeting that the registration is to enable the federal government fully capture the accurate number of IDPs in Nigeria and make adequate provisions for their well-being.
Pantami said that in approving the identification policy for IDPs, the Council considered the fact that in providing for all IDPs, adequate required data is required, adding that getting registered in the national database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is mandated by law.
“As we all know that National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 has made it mandatory that each citizen must require a National Identity Number, according to the Act’s section 5, and section 27 emphasises that it could be an offence not to acquiring the number.
“Most of us here do not have the number. But they have at least a form of identification, an official one, either driver’s license, passport for travelling and many more. But people in IDP camps do not have that usually. So, we come up with a policy that will prioritise providing national identity to people living in IDPs. The policy has been entitled as National Policy for Digital Identification for Internally Displaced Persons.
“This digital ID will support government in knowing the total number of our IDPs, budgetary provision on how to take care of them, national planning with regards to their education, health and many more.
“When it comes to social intervention being provided by the federal government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, government will have an up to date record of IDPs; their number, their location and everything and government will reach out to them easily through that database that is going to be domiciled at the National Identity Management Commission.
“Based on the report during the formulation of the policy, we have around three million people living in IDP camps in Nigeria, which is more than one percent of our population. In addition, from the records that we have received in the course of the formulation, there is no single State in the country without IDPs. The highest is in Borno State with 1.4 million and the lowest is Ondo State with 1,024 persons.
“This is a policy that will provide an up-to-date record of them so that government will give them special consideration of resettling them and taking care of them. As we all know, no matter how strong you are, if you fail to take care of the weak ones, then automatically you are also a weak one. This is why we come up with the policy to prioritise them”, he said.