By Staley Iwuoha
The Federal government has promised to is provide digital identification for over 3 million Nigerians living in Internerally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the country.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami revealed this while inaugurating Ministerial Committee on distribution of palliatives to Vulnerable Nigerians on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that people living in IDP camps have no means of identification adding that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) would provide all Nigerians in the IDP camps with the digital identification as Federal government’s intervention.
Pantami who regretted that the socio economic impact of COVID-19 has led to an inability of individuals and businesses to meet their needs due to constrained resources, a negative impact on employment and a sense of uncertainty, amongst others, noted that as the country celebrates its 60th anniversary, it is important for us to support one another and remind ourselves to work together for the good of our fellow citizens.
For him, the palliatives is in recognition of our need to support each other to ease the economic hardship that a number of people experienced as a result of COVID-19. It is also in line with Ministerial Policies that I release from time to time.
The minister listed some of the palliatives being provided to include 4 ambulances fully equipped with ICU gadgets, 9000 bottles of hand sanitizers ,500 pieces of face masks; deployment of ICT Infrastructure to meet the specific needs of the NCDC and stakeholders, especially customized application to help contain the virus spread and provision of 100 laptops; 120 infrared thermometers.
Others are food items to relevant communities in form of 3 trailer loads of rice; support in the distribution of emergency supplies, provision of dedicated satellite channel on the NIGCOMSAT Direct-to-Home platform for wider information dissemination and 20 sets of Personal Protective Equipment.
“These palliatives will definitely not be enough for all Nigerians, but we believe it will surely show our care and concern for them. The palliatives have been provided by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NigComSat) and Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST).”
Pantami who inaugurated a Ministerial Committee to supervise the distribution of the palliative, said that the Ministry is partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other Civil Society Organisations to ensure transparency in the distribution of the palliatives.
He said, “We believe that the distribution of these palliatives will improve the indices of well-being and will put a smile on the faces of many Nigerians, encouraging them as we seek to forge ahead in spite of COVID-19,” said Pantami.
Membership of the ministerial committee was drawn from all the parastatals.They include: Professor Adeolu Akande, NCC as Chairman; Dr Abuabakar Saidu, NITDA as Co-Chairman; Professor Suleiman Mohammed, NITDA Member; Usman Malah NCC Member; Hadiza Baloni NIGCOMSAT Member; Nasiru Suleiman GALAXY Member; Mr Franklin Alao NIPOST Member and Babagana Bashir NFIU Member.
Others members are: Linus Gubbi ICPC Member; Mohammed Aminu EFCC Member; Amb. Splendour A. Agbonkpolo Coalition of Civil Society for Citizens Action Against COVID-19 Member; Dr Kalli Zannah FMCDE Member; Isyaku Gwamna FMCDE Member and Barr. Hadiza Dagabana.