By Sadiq Abubakar
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said it will issue e-identity cards to a total of 100,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno.
NIMC, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), yesterday launched the pilot registration exercise in Maiduguri, hoping to register all IDPs in the state for administrative ease and other purposes.
Speaking at the event, Head of UNHCR sub- office, Maiduguri, Mr. Caesar Tshilomba, said the refugees agency resolved to partner with NIMC and NBA to register the 100,000 targeted IDPs in order to ease their sufferings in acquiring the e-identification card.
According to him, in partnership with government and other organisations, UNHCR has consequently unveiled mechanisms to tackle hardships associated with IDPs to enable them exercise their basic civic rights, access a wide range of government services.
The exercise to cover areas where the incidence of statelessness or those at risks of statelessness were reportedly high especially in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said several reports, including the UNHCR vulnerability screening round 3 in Borno state revealed that 99 per cent of vulnerable IDPs households lacked legal documentation.
“Before the crisis, civil registrations, including that of birth, were already low in the region and most of the IDPs lack identity documents.
“This created many challenges including discerning between refugees and IDPs in local communities, impacting their access to protection and rights. In the longer term, this may hamper the achievement of durable solution for the displaced,” Tshilomba added.
In his remarks, Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Abdulaziz, explained that the taking of the registration exercise to the door steps of the IDPs camps was timely considering their poor chances of accessing the e-identification cards.
The NIMC boss explained further that, presently, only 1,000 registration centres were operating, against the 3,500 that were required.