By DUMAH RANDONG
LESS than one quarter of the population of Plateau State is said to have been registered by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) since the exercise began in January, 2013.
To this end a total of 630,000 out of the population of 3.5 million people in Plateau State have only registered since the exercise got underway.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said the issue of data in this 21st Century was critical for development and planning and as such, the state could not toy with.
Governor Lalong stated this when the new Acting State Coordinator National Identity Management Commission, Mrs. Magdalene Giwehegbe led other management members on a courtesy call at Government, House, Rayfield, Jos. Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden, Governor Lalong charged the commission to embark on sensitization to create awareness on the exercise and noted that such an exercise was very critical for development and planning which the state could not afford to lag behind.
Governor Lalong blamed the poor exercise on lack of sensitization and awareness and emphasized that the commission should use the media, especially the radio and television to create awareness.
Lalong stressed that leaving a data base for the state was very crucial especially to the future generation, the governor promised to support the commission achieve its mandate.
Earlier, acting State Coordinator, National Identity Management Commission, Mrs. Magdalene Giwewhegbe had explained that the commission was established in 2007 to operate and manage the data base.
The acting state coordinator disclosed that since 2013 when the registration took off in the state, one mega number of people of a population of 35 million only 63,000 have so far been registered describing the exercise as very poor.
She explained that the exercise was very strategic to the state stating that aside from strategic development, it would also help in checking security challenges.
Giwewhegbe said the major challenge hampering their performance was the paucity of funds as they have the manpower and equipment to do the job.
She further stated that the commission had banked on public-private partnership to get the desired support but that that was not to be adding when they had to stay for six months without registration when the exercise kicked off.
According to her, of the 17 LGAs in the state with the exception of Kanam Local Government showing less or no interest in the exercise and appealed for synergy with the state government in order to change the narrative.