Stop Plans for New National ID; Its Scheme to Rip Nigerians of Public Funds – HURIWA Tells Tinubu

The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has called upon Bola Tinubu to halt the proposed issuance of a new National Identity Card, denouncing it as a misappropriation of Nigerians’ resources and a ploy to drain public funds.

HURIWA Tells Tinubu

The organization criticized the lack of a comprehensive national strategy to guide the formulation and execution of beneficial policies regarding ID issuance.

Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, conveyed this stance in a statement released on Sunday. The NIMC, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, announced on April 5, 2024, its intention to introduce a new card with multiple functionalities, encompassing social and financial services.

In a note titled “Key Facts About the Proposed New General Multipurpose National Identity Card” released on Friday, the commission clarified that the new ID card would be a unified, multipurpose card rather than three distinct cards.

HURIWA raised concerns about the feasibility of expecting 133 million impoverished Nigerians, grappling with “crushing poverty,” to maintain active bank accounts in order to access the proposed single National ID.

The group said, “This is a scheme to rip off Nigeria of monumental and humongous amounts of public funds which will end up in the offshore bank accounts of top leaders and their mistresses and acolytes.’

READ ALSO: Dozens Dying: Ogun Communities Risk Lives Crossing Benin Republic Borders for Clean Water, Despite State Govt’s Reassurances, Yet No Hand Dug Well

“We call on President Bola Tinubu to discontinue this sheer misuse of both the commonwealth of Nigerians and the plan to once more subject Nigerians to rounds of ordeals of queuing up in the hot sun or rains all over the country in their banks to access their so-called banks to obtain the dubious national identity card even as the Rights group said it is poor thinking for NIMC to assume that all Nigerians have functional bank accounts to enable them get the ID from those banks.”

HURIWA further noted that a recent report revealed that 50% of Nigerians were excluded from banking services due to extreme poverty.

It expressed concerns that the proposed plan seemed to serve the interests of certain influential individuals in power, intending to channel public funds towards personal agendas, benefiting mistresses, friends, and allies.

The organization urged the government to prioritize the International Passport as the primary identification card instead.