28th June, 2011
Governor Babatunde Fashola on Monday said that the government would soon issue electronic identification cards to all Lagos residents to enable the state to have reliable database of all citizens.
The governor made the disclosure after signing into law, a bill establishing the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency at the Government House in Ikeja.
Fashola said that the identification cards would also be used by residents to access government services while the state would use it in planning for its citizens.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor also signed the Heritage Sites Bill which sought to preserve and protect historical sites in the state into law.
â€œThe LSRRA bill is dear to our state in that it would serve as a critical planning tool for the government and help us to respond to citizensâ€™ needs more effectively.
â€œThe law will help us deal with security issues better as residents will be given electronic cards with unique identification numbers upon registration which they will carry permanently,â€ he said.
The governor said that the registration was compulsory for all residents, irrespective of their state of origin, adding that the government would strictly enforce compliance as soon as it became operational.
He said that the pilot registration of civil servants had since commenced in the state, stating that the government decided to start with its workers as a launch pad for the exercise.
He dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the registration was meant for taxation purposes, adding that it was strictly to create a database of all citizens for developmental objectives.
On the Heritage Site Bill signed into law, Fashola said it would help protect the stateâ€˜s historical sites from alteration thereby helping to preserve them for future generations.
â€œThese sites are our history, they tell where we come from, so this law will help a great deal in preserving these heritage sites for future generations,â€ he said.
Fashola listed some of the sites as the National Theatre, First Storey building in Nigeria, Slave Camp in Badagry, Massey Hospital, among others.
He charged government officials, especially those in charge of property approvals to ensure that the sites were not tampered with.
Presenting the bill for Fasholaâ€˜s assent, Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye, the House Majority Leader, said that contraventions of the provisions of the bill through alterations or illegal acquisition by anybody would attract penalties.
He said that the law prescribed N500,000 fine for offenders or three months imprisonment or both, urging residents to help preserve the sites by ensuring they were free of illegal activities.