Discontinue Plans For New National ID, HURIWA Begs Tinubu

The Human Rights Writers Association has urged President Bola Tinubu, to discontinue the plans for the issuance of a new National Identity Card, describing the planned exercise as a misuse of the commonwealth of Nigerians, and a scheme to rip Nigerians of public funds.

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The group also said the plan showed a lack of national strategy, to formulate and implement beneficial public policies governing the issuance of the ID.

This was made known by, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko in a statement on Sunday.

On April 5, 2024, the NIMC announced its collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System to launch a new card having multiple functionalities, including for social and financial services.

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The management of the commission had also clarified in a note on Friday titled “Key Facts About the Proposed New General Multipurpose National Identity Card”, that the new ID card would be a single, multipurpose card and not three separate card.

HURIWA questioned how 133 million poor Nigerians suffering “crushing poverty”, were expected “to maintain working bank accounts to enable them to collect the so-called single National ID”.

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The group said, “This is a scheme to rip off Nigeria of monumental and humongous amounts of public funds which will end up in the offshore bank accounts of top leaders and their mistresses and acolytes.

“We call on President Bola Tinubu to discontinue this sheer misuse of both the commonwealth of Nigerians and the plan to once more subject Nigerians to rounds of ordeals of queuing up in the hot sun or rains all over the country in their banks to access their so-called banks to obtain the dubious national identity card even as the Rights group said it is poor thinking for NIMC to assume that all Nigerians have functional bank accounts to enable them get the ID from those banks.”

HURIWA also stated that a report showed that 50 per cent of Nigerians were unbanked and unbankable due to terrible poverty, adding that it was of the view that the plan was part of a sinister plot by “fast fingers” in the corridors of power to use the public funds to “empower their mistresses, friends and cronies”.

The group urged the government to rather adopt the International Passport as the most critical ID card.

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