Well, if you live in Lagos or have reasons to spend extended periods in Lagos, then this is news you should read, the Lagos State Government will today begin the compulsory registration of all residents living in the state in a move the government says will help to plan and efficiently allocate resources.
This was made known by the General Manager of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, Ms. Yinka Fashola, in an address to pressmen over the weekend in Lagos.
She said, “The main purpose of the registration is for planning and the efficient allocation of resources. It is not a census. The issue here is that there is no point in planning for so many people when you don’t know who they are, where they live, what their road, water and electricity needs are. The only way to know is to go out there and register them.
“A live pilot begins on Monday with a manageable chunk of people so that in the event that there is the need to review, or fix anything we can easily do that without any serious damage.”
The card issued from the registration point is expected to give residents access to health, transportation and other government and non-governmental services in the state.
Stating that the project began four years ago, Fashola, added that the agency having consulted with stakeholders, had trained about 600 registration officers and 41,000 teachers for the exercise.
When questioned about the registration of beggars, destitute and street urchins, Fashola said no resident would be left out in the registration exercise which is expected to commence by mid-June.
She said, “The truth is that everybody is coming from somewhere. No matter where you are in the world, you have an address.
“Even for the prostitutes and purdahs, I have female officers who will camp them in a hall and register them. Anyone who has lived in Lagos state for a minimum of six months will be registered.”
Fashola also revealed that the agency had received applications from many Ph.D, M.sc holders and graduates in the course of recruiting registration officers.
“The position was initially planned for only school certificate holders and people with OND who would be a paid N25, 000 monthly but 85 per cent of people that applied have degrees, masters, PhD or even some other higher levels.
“We have them coming from all walks of life; accountants, biochemists, micro-genetics, applying for a job that does not pay that much,” she said.
What is yet to be confirmed is how this will be effective, this is as a result of the business and kinetic lifestyle of Lagos residents, people who work Monday to Saturday, market woman and store owners that work all week long, residents who spend several hours in traffic, when will such registrations take place for them. Guess the pilot phase will give us a clearer picture of what is to be expected.