by ‘Jola Sotubo
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola yesterday called on the people of the state to support the move by the state government to ensure the success of the residents’ registration exercise in the state. The governor made the appeal while launching the exercise in Ikeja.
Fashola explained further that the program would enable the government to generate reliable data for planning and development for the welfare of the state and its citizens.
He reportedly said that the exercise was not for tax purposes but to enlarge access of residents to government services.
“The official flagging off of this exercise is a watershed in the state’s history as it is a most important step taken by the state government toward service delivery.
“If you imagine a Lagos where all communities have enough schools with the right and enough facilities to educate our children; “If you imagine a Lagos where you have enough hospitals with all the facilities to treat the sick and a state where you have a 24-hour electricity supply; “If you can imagine a Lagos where you open your taps and water flows at all times, then you will understand why we are embarking on this exercise. “It is to enable us have a reliable database of all residents so that we can plan better and increase access to government services.”
Fashola said that the registration was meant for residents, irrespective of their ethnic background.
He said that anybody who had lived in the state for at least six months was eligible to be captured.
The governor said that indigenes of the state who had relocated elsewhere would not be captured as they no longer fell under the direct responsibility of the state government.
He said that the residents would be issued permanent identification cards upon registration to enable them to access services in hospitals, schools and other public institutions.
The governor appealed to community and opinion leaders to help mobilise the people in their areas for the exercise. He urged all residents to turn out en-masse to be captured.
The project is being implemented by the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, established by the Lagos State Residents Registration Law of 2011.
Giving more details on the exercise, Olayinka Fashola, the General Manager, LASSRA, said residents could register directly at the centres or do so on the internet.
She, however, stressed that those who chose to put their personal data on www.lagosresidents.gov.ng would still need to visit the designated centres to get their biometric information captured. She said that residents below the age of 16 would not be issued permanent identity cards upon registration till they attained the age.
Olayinka said that mobile centres had been created to guarantee access for the old and the weak and also to address any issue that might arise from the registration.
The general manager said that no fewer than 1,455 residents had been engaged to conduct the exercise, saying that the registration had created job opportunities for the people.
The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Adebiyi Mabadeje, urged residents to see the exercise as their project by volunteering information to LASSRA officials.