The Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the registration of about three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in various camps across the country.
The registration, according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, is to enable the Federal Government fully capture their accurate number and make adequate provisions for their well-being.
Pantami added that the Council also approved the establishment of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center.
“As we all know that National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 has made it mandatory that each citizen must require a National Identity Number, according to the Act’s section 5, and section 27 emphasises that it could be an offence not to acquiring the number.
“Most of us here do not have the number, but they have at least a form of identification, an official one; either driver’s license, passport for travelling and many more, but people in IDP camps do not have that usually, so we come up with a policy that will prioritise providing national identity to people living in IDPs. The policy has been entitled as National Policy for Digital Identification for Internally Displaced Persons.
“This digital ID will support government in knowing the total number of our IDPs, budgetary provision on how to take care of them, national planning with regards to their education, health and many more.
“When it comes to social intervention being provided by the federal government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, government will have an up to date record of IDPs; their number, their location and everything and government will reach out to them easily through that database that is going to be domiciled at the National Identity Management Commission.
“Based on the report during the formulation of the policy, we have around three million people living in IDP camps in Nigeria, which is more than 1% of our population. In addition, from the records that we have received in the course of the formulation, there is no single state in the country without IDPs; the highest is in Borno State with 1.4 million and the lowest is Ondo State with 1,024 persons.
“This is a policy that will provide an up-to-date record of them so that government will give them special consideration of resettling them and taking care of them. As we all know, no matter how strong you are, if you fail to take care of the weak ones, then automatically you are also a weak one. This is why we come up with the policy to prioritise them”, he said.
On the approval for the establishment of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in Abuja, which is in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Pantami said the programme is schemed to address the challenges of unemployment and citizens unemployability.
According to him, the programme, which would be run by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is going to provide training platform for millions of Nigerians in the digital innovation and entrepreneurship interests.
Meanwhile, the FEC also approved N62 billion for the construction of Kano-Dawakin Tofa-Gwarzo road linking Kano and Katsina States.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola made this disclosure revealed this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of this week’s deliberations.
He said: “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented one memorandum for the construction of Kano-Dawakin Tofa-Gwarzo-Dayi road and it was approved for N62.7 billion, to be executed in 24 months.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Council further approved the introduction of platonic medical records and management for the National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS.
He said the platform would help manage payments and claims as well as health records of patients to enhance transparency and accountability.
The Minister of Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, disclosed that the Council has ratified Nigeria’s membership of African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCTA).
According to him, with Wednesday’s ratification, Nigeria has been able to beat the 5th December deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership of the African free trade zone.