National Identity Day: Okowa underscores importance of data in national planning

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa

Governor  Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has underscored the need for reliable data collection and coordination for planning and national development.

Governor Okowa receiving the management of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) led by the Delta State Coordinator, Mrs. Henrietta Okolo, on courtesy visit at Government House, Asaba, on Wednesday, said it is regrettable that only 48 million out of the estimated 200 million Nigerians have been registered for the National Identity Card project. He called on NIMC and other stakeholders to redouble efforts towards ensuring that more Nigerians are registered.

The governor, represented by Deputy Governor Kingsley Otuaro, harped on the need for relevant data to be collected for effective implementation of development plans at the various levels of governance, including private businesses. He decried that inadequate data for planning purposes poses a very huge challenge for the development of the country, urging NIMC to do more in sensitization of the people on the importance of registering for the national identity card.

He assured NIMC of the support and partnership of the state government in ensuring that more Deltans registered for the National Identity Card.

“We thank you for coming today as we join you in celebrating our National Identity Day.

“Let me state, emphatically, that the imperatives of data coordination for national planning and development cannot be overemphasised.

“This is so because without appropriate data, there cannot be planning and development and if there is planning and development it will be haphazard because it will not achieve the purpose it was meant for without appropriate data.

“NIMC has lots of work to do to ensure that we have reliable data for our national planning and development and am sure that with the support of the federal and state governments and all stakeholders, we will be able to achieve that laudable objective of having reliable data for our national planning.

“For us in Delta we take very serious cognisance of the fact that we cannot do without reliable data in our planning for the development of our state, like you have alluded to our using the National Identity Number (NIN) in registering our people for the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme.

“We can’t afford a situation where women in rural areas had difficulty in paying for their medical bills and as such we thought it wise as a state that we bring our people into the contributory health insurance scheme to provide the much needed health care for our people,” the governor declared.

Earlier, the Delta State Coordinator, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mrs. Henrietta Okolo, explained that she led management of the Commission on an advocacy visit to the Governor to commemorate this year’s National Identity Management Day.

According to her, the theme of this year’s edition of the National Identity Day is “Identity for Health, Sustainable Development and Growth” is apt in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the management of palliatives by various governments and donor agencies.

She said the best way to manage palliatives in the pandemic was through the National Identification Number (NIN), urging Nigerians to come and register as registration was free for all eligible citizens and legal residents.

“Today is a very special day in the lives of Nigerians and the global community. Every September 16 has been set aside and graciously approved by the Federal Government for us to observe the National Identity Day.

“This is the second edition of the celebration, we had the maiden edition last year 2019 and the essence of celebrating this day is to create awareness on the importance of identification for national planning and development.

“NIMC was created by the Federal Government to collate all existing data bases from other agencies and manage them into a secured data base that can be relied upon by the government for proper planning and development of the citizenry.

“As at today, you can’t renew your international passport without your National Identification Number and it is also required in accessing the National Health Insurance Scheme.” She said.

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