The National Identity
Management Commission (NIMC) on Monday, issued the new national e-identity card to former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
The Tide source reports that President Goodluck Jonathan had on August 28, launched the e-ID card at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Obasanjo received the identity card from the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Chris Onyemenam.
He said it was the third national identity card he got as a Nigerian, collecting the first in 1979 and the second in 1999 when he was elected president.
The former president, who described the project as long overdue, recalled that the previous cards were not as sophisticated as the new one.
He noted that a number of innovations had been introduced in the new card and expressed optimism that it would enhance security and ease intelligence gathering.
Obasanjo, however, expressed concern over the possibility of ease of enrollment and usage of the electronic card by the rural dwellers because of its multiple applications and complexities.
“I know that by virtue of my position and status, I have been given a privileged treatment, but what happens to the man in the village.
“How easy will it be for him to be captured and how much of the facilities will be useful to him?
“How much will he have to pay bearing in mind that poverty still persists particularly in the rural areas?”
Obasanjo also wondered if the process of upgrading as a result of advanced technology would not cost the country a fortune.
He said:“It may interest you to note that the national identity card project in 1979 for Nigerians, who were 18 years and above was only N16 million.
“Now billions of naira must have been expended on the new project now.”
The elder statesman also urged the commission to ensure that the cost and process of replacing the identity card in the event of loss would not be too much for affected Nigerians.
In his response, Onyemenam recalled that the new project was initiated by Obasanjo, who approved the process on May 16, 2007.
He said the concerns raised by the former president were being addressed.
The DG said the commission was already testing the mobile vehicular units that would be used to travel into the creeks and the hinterland.
He also said that for ease of upgrading, the commission used service oriented architecture in the design of the project.
The National Identity