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HURIWA to Tinubu: New national ID card scheme to rip-off Nigerians



The Human Rights Writers Association has described the planned issuance of a new National Identity Card as a misuse of the commonwealth of Nigerians, and a scheme to rip Nigerians of public funds.

Consequently, the group urged President Bola Tinubu, to discontinue the exercise.

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

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 cards.

Reacting to the development in a statement by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko on Sunday, the group said the plan showed a lack of national strategy, to formulate and implement beneficial public policies governing the issuance of the ID.

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 un-bankable 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.

By: Babajide Okeowo

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