The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) have collaborated to provide the conflict-affected populations of Borno and Adamawa states with e-ID cards.
NRC and NIMC have been in partnership since 2016 to ensure the vulnerable people in the region are enrolled in the national identity system by providing logistical and capacity building activities to enable identity documents.
The NRC is an independent humanitarian organisation providing assistance to refugees in 31 countries worldwide. This assistance provides life-saving and long-term assistance to millions annually in areas of food security, shelter, water, legal assistance and camp and out of camp coordination and management.
The organisation has been carrying out vital work in the Northeast since 2015
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through its “Promoting Rights and Supporting Protection Needs in Northeastern Nigeria” (ProSPINE) programme contributed in co-financing of the e-ID cards.
Residents of the Bakassi IDPs camp and surrounding communities in Maiduguri were the first to receive their e-ID cards.
In a statement made available by NRC, the delivery of e-ID cards is a step towards “enabling individuals to exercise their rights to basic services and freedom of movement”.
“Through the NRC, NIMC partnership, thousands of people in Borno and Adamawa states have successfully been enrolled in the national identity system.”
Eric Batonon, the Country Director of NRC Nigeria expressed how important the initiative was, as it shows the organisation’s support of providing vulnerable communities so they can also access legal and civil documentation.
“The conflict in the northeast has shattered lives, displacing millions, destroying infrastructures and services. Because of violence, individuals we serve may have never been able to register for an ID. Some may have lost their documents in the chaos of fleeing.
“The delivery of 10,000 e-ID cards is a breakthrough, paving the way for more individuals affirming their identity. We hope that these efforts will reach more remote areas of the Northeast, where the need for legal documentation is pressing.
“I salute NIMC, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and our team all across Borno and Adamawa for their contribution. But most of all, I thank and congratulate Yakaka Muhammed*, Muna Tama* (not real names) and many other individuals of Bakassi camp who diligently enrolled in the national identity system and finally received their e-ID cards today” Batonon said.
Peter Iwegbu, the Head of Cards for NIMC further encouraged all those who have yet to enrol to go and register to get their cards.
“It is vital to have this card especially for those who have been displaced and have lost all means of identification. Now they can enjoy and participate in certain services that require identification. The card is a payment card and can be used for transactions, it is your Identity with your money in your pocket,” Iwegbu said.
Asabe Adamu from Maiduguri said after getting her ID card, she had now gained the confidence of her Nigerian identity and can travel freely without fear.
“I also learnt, I can put some money on the card, I would meet with the NIMC staff to let them teach me on how to do it,” she said.