Voters Registration Cards & the Forth Coming 2019 Election

I was watching a program on NTA (Nigerian Televisions Authority) this Morning and must confess that I was really depressed about the scheme of things concerning the voters’ registration card. There was this argument about piles of voters’ card still uncollected while “a noisy few” in the words of one of those invited to talk on the issue, are aggrieved about not being able to register for their voters registration card during the voters registration exercise.

Having a voters registration card is a right that should not be denied eligible citizens of this country who have attained the legal age to vote and be voted for and INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) should be held responsible for whatever hitches that are being observed. I personally believe that the voter’s registration issue could have been solved by INEC if they had thought about synergism with other ready-made databases in Nigeria.

The problem we have in Nigeria is simple, we simply don’t want to share ideas, we always want to start something new and are often not concerned about the continuity of everything that we initiate as a working system, no wonder a wise man once said that Nigeria’s problem is not that we lack ideas, but the implementation and execution of such ideas.

Nigeria has gone beyond making use of dud voters’ registration cards that look like a personal identity card. At the stage that we are in now, what we should be using as voters’ card should be a national electronic card containing all  details about an individual ranging from health benefits/disabilities, finances, birth records and deaths and these information can easily be accessed and verified electronically by banks, health centers, government agencies (including Federal Roads Safety Commission in the case of procuring a Drivers license).

With such a card as described above, there will not be an issue of people not being able to register for their voters cards or issues of people refusing to come forward to claim their voters’ card. Now, voters’ registration card is an issue as it has always been before every election that we’ve had in Nigeria because there is no central database of Nigerian citizens where births and deaths can be recorded.

We have NPC (National Populations Commission) and this is workable with them, in fact, INEC should have been liaising with NPC, if the later had been reliable with the duty of actually monitoring the Nigerian Population.

What I am talking about is not a pipe dream, it is workable and we don’t really need to spend a fortune to put a centrally working Nigerian database in place, we have so many Computer Whiz kids in Nigeria most of whom are jobless and if the Federal Government can assemble a team of the very best of these individuals, we can put a stop to this.

With a central database in place which will be accessible by all government approved institutions /agencies in Nigeria and which will have the ability of collecting and collating data from these agencies in real time, a lot of problems can be solved, a few of which are:

  • Knowing the total number of Nigerians living in Nigeria at every given time.
  • Crimes can be checked and stopped before they are committed.
  • Voters’ registration card will not be needed since every citizen can be accounted for and they can as well vote with their “one pass central electronic identity card.
  • There will be no need for banks to send us back to get a driver’s license, because with our one pass card, every institution can access our assets and liabilities in real time and be in a position to know all that they need to know concerning our financial position.
  • Farmers can easily get access to all government benefits/subsidies without them being hijacked by middlemen
  • Budgets can be made by the Federal Government with actual figures of the Nigerian population in mind.
  • Rigging in Elections will be minimal if not totally absent from the electoral process.
  • It will also aid the cashless policy by CBN, since that card will be connected to all bank accounts owned by the individual possessing it and hospitals can easily collect their funds electronically for the treatment of that individual.

There are so many other problems it will totally curb if not completely eradicate.

Fellow Nigerians, I just hope some of you will agree with me, please leave your comments, I would love to share your views on this.

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