Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency (KADSRRA), Dr ZAYYAD TSIGA, has warned that residents that have neither a National Identification Number nor a Residents’ Card will not enjoy the services of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government as from Saturday. In this interview, he explained other benefits of the Residents Card. By Farida Adamu and Omolara Daniel |
Some critics have alleged that Kaduna State Government seems to be embarking on a census exercise of its own, through the Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency (KADSRRA). How true is this allegation?
Well, the mandate of the Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency (KADSRRA), does not exactly relate to it being a census activity. But it is true that the work we do will help us with the numbers needed for proper planning.
Since the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is also capturing data, why don’t you source the data that you need from them directly, instead of KADSRRA reduplicating efforts as it seems?
This administration led by Governor Nasir El-Rufai is a champion of digital identity and as such, when he came into office, the governor, El-Rufai quickly realized that letting National Identity Management Commission do everything on its own, will take too long for them to be able to cover the entire Kaduna state. And as such, the government decided to collaborate with the commission, by assisting NIMC with additional resources such as man power and technology so we can cover the state in a shorter time. This is why Kaduna state is currently the 2nd highest in terms of enrolment into the National Identity Database. At the moment we are the state that has covered the most residents per capita, we are at about 35 percent, having registered more than 3.4 million residents of Kaduna state out of a total population of about 10 million.
About a month ago, you warned that from 1st May 2021, residents that do not have the Kaduna State Residents Card will not enjoy some services of Kaduna State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Will that directive not encroach on their rights as tax payers?
Our main goal is to turn Kaduna state into a modern society where things are done digitally. For example, if I ask an MDA to tell me how many people have come into their premises and have benefited from their services, they should be able to provide me with accurate figures. However, this is currently almost impossible due to the ineffectiveness of the system in place; there is a lack of unique identifiers to track these numbers. However, with the digitisation of our MDAs, we can have these numbers, so the government can plan better and provide vital services and maximise the use of scarce resources.
Due to the insecurity in some parts of Kaduna state, some residents have relocated to new communities and some are temporarily living in camps for displaced persons. What arrangements has your agency put in place to enable these residents to be captured in the database?
Yes, for displaced persons, there is an initiative by the federal government that states are co-opted into, which is being championed by the federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, to ensure that all Internally Displaced Persons across the country are captured into the national database. To make the process efficient, Kaduna State Government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency and KADSRRA to work with these officials that were sent in by the federal government, to make sure that all IDPs are captured.
One of the things we are trying to introduce is that, when a resident moves from one place to another, he needs to go and update his National Identity Number with his new address; that is standard practice in any developed society around the world. If you move from Zaria to Kaduna North local government area for example, it should be documented to reflect your new address.
How will your agency cover communities in core rural areas?
Yes, we are also trying to capture them, that is why there are changes coming on into the organizational structure, like including the State Focal Person for Social Protection in the state as part of the Agency’s Governing Board. We are very determined to capture these residents. Regularly, the federal government comes up with various Social Intervention Initiatives, which increasingly require the NIN before people benefit, and most of these beneficiaries are in our rural areas. We are also working closely with State Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU) for Social Investment Programmes in Kaduna state, to share information from their Social Register. We are also implementing a way to work together, whereby any time they go out to field to identify people that are qualified for enrolment onto the social register, they can also be captured at that point.
In the past, our enrolment equipment has been stationary in nature, but now we are pushing towards the use of mobile equipment. We will be using mobile enrolment tablets rather than the complete desktop setting. This mobility will allow us to carry the enrolment exercise down to people’s houses. Also, the Kaduna Residents Registration Agency is one of the core agencies that make up the ‘’Public Service on Wheels’’ initiative. While the initiative is currently focused on the metropolis, the plan is to move it to other local governments as well. So, we are counting on this mobility to capture people in the most remote areas.
If someone already has a National Identity Number, will he or she need a Kaduna State Residents Card?
Firstly, we have to distinguish between two things; the NIN/NIMC are responsible for collecting and storing the foundational data such as your name, date of birth, biometrics; basically things that do not change. But for things that change like your address, the schools you attended etc, they are not responsible for that. However, we need this data to carry out many functional purposes, that is why we introduced the Kaduna State Residents Number which is linked to the NIN. While the NIN will hold your foundational data, the Kaduna Residents’ Number will hold your functional data.
For example, if you are in Kaduna, it will store where you work. If you go to an MDA like the Kaduna Geographical Information Service, and apply for land that will be recorded as well. The difference is that the NIN is foundational, while the Kaduna Residents Card is functional.
How can residents obtain the Kaduna Residents Number?
The Kaduna Residents Number is auto generated as long as you have registered with NIMC with a valid Kaduna state address. Meanwhile, if you currently reside in Kaduna state but previously registered with NIMC in Abuja, then you would not get a Kaduna Residents Card till your details are updated to reflect your new address. Once this is done, we would automatically generate your Kaduna State Residents Card.
When will these cards be available for onward distribution to residents?
We just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Bank for Africa(UBA) to start producing the cards. We are going to be piloting with employees of the state, once that is done it will be opened up to the rest of the public. The first issuance is free and we are planning to have 255 centers, that’s one per ward, but that requires a lot of man power for the distribution. So, we are considering using local government secretariats or perhaps, issue a schedule whereby the distribution can start in the secretariats, before it moves to different wards.
By the 1st of May, 2021, you are expected to present your card to any State MDA that you go to. The card will be verified before providing you with services. There are plans to harmonise all various state related ID Cards into this. For example, the Kaduna State Contributory Health Scheme, also issues cards as most of what we do are similar, we both collect biometrics. In order to save resources, we are going to centralize all these services into the Kaduna State Residents Cards. In the near future, once these cards are out there, it is likely that salaries will be paid through them because the Residents Card also serves as a debit card. And if the state wants to use it as a mechanism to pay salaries, it can reduce the issues of double-payments and so on.
-Kaduna State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will not offer services to any person who does not have the Kaduna State Residents Card or the National Identification Number(NIN) as from May 1, 2021;
-Only residents who have an NIN, with a valid Kaduna state residential address, will be issued a State Residents Card;
-Residents who have obtained their NINs using addresses of other states and now reside in Kaduna, are required to visit any enrolment centre to update their NINs with their current Kaduna address, in order to get a State Residents Card;
-The use of Kaduna Residents Card will further improve service delivery at all MDAs, the state’s digital economy and e-governance initiatives, social and financial inclusion;
-Last Friday, the Kaduna State Residents Card Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Bank for Africa(UBA) to start producing the cards;
-The card can be used as a debit or credit card depending on the type of arrangement someone has with UBA;
-Kaduna state has the second highest number of enrolments into the National Identity Database (NIDB), with 3, 363, 969 enrolments as at April 1, 2021, against the projected population of 9,476,055 million people, giving it a coverage of about 35%;
-At the moment, the state that has covered the most residents per capita, even though it has the second highest enrolment;
-Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency (KADSRRA) aims to achieve 100% enrolment of Kaduna state residents into the National Database in the nearest future;
-To achieve this, there will be enrolment centres in all the 255 wards in Kaduna state and the model Primary Health Care Centres;
-KADSRRA and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will collaborate with officials of Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy as well as those from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, to ensure that all IDPs are captured;