Fashola Unveils Lagos State Resident Card, Appeals To Residents To Embrace The Exercise For Development
• "Data is a planning tool and those who succeed are those who made plans", he says
Dec 9, 2014 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Tuesday unveiled the State's Resident Card with a passionate appeal to residents to embrace the on-going Residents Registration Exercise in order to provide an effective data base for the development of the State.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium at the State Government Secretariat, Alausa, said no matter how sincere and hard working a government could be, it would do very little in providing for the good of the people without the knowledge of the population and other demographic details about the governed.
Describing his administration as a Government that is used to data as a planning tool, the Governor, who noted that the State Public Service is populated by some of the finest men and women officials that could be found in any other part of the world added, however, that they needed the tools to do the job now.
He told the audience comprising of Public Servants and Private Sector Operators, "There is so much we can do with data. Data is a planning tool and those who succeed are those who make plans; those who fail are those who have no plans. You have the men and women in the Lagos State Public Service; some of the finest you could find in any other part of the world is here in Lagos. But they need the tools to do the job now.
Stressing the importance of data in the development of the State, Governor Fashola declared, "The reason we are here today is to be able, by quick reference, once we upload unto this data base, to say, at the close of each business day and by looking at our data, that this is the number of people who live in Lagos. Once we do that, there is almost nothing we cannot do".
"When we are providing water, we know how many gallons of water an average adult would use in a day, for bathing, for drinking and for cleaning up. But the fact that we know doesn't mean that everyone must get water unless we know how many people need water. We can't solve the problem of hunger unless we know the number of people who need food", the Governor further explained.
He noted that the Resident's Registration exercise is an attempt to connect supply with need adding, "In today's world, we see a lot of people hungry; every day we see a lot of people go home hungry but we also see a lot of food being thrown away. Go to our parties, go to our homes. So, for me that could only happen because we are not connecting supply with need; and this is what LASRRA is all about".
Governor Fashola said most of the countries which Nigerians copy and desire to go have perfected the use of data in their system such that it has become part of life in those countries adding, "We see people commit crime in those societies and within a few hours their photographs are up. It is not magic; it is not by prayer".
"In all those other societies where it happens this is what they did first. Some of you who travel abroad, you will notice that when you alight in any airport outside Nigeria, the officials will separate residents from visitors. The citizens don't enter their countries with their passports; they enter their countries with their ID Cards; because your country should know you", he said.
Describing the Residents Registration exercise as "our big step into the future", Governor Fashola, who noted that it is the way to identify every resident, further explained, "We have your fingerprint, we have your identity, and we have your facial structure, so you cannot become anonymous if you live with us".
On the possibility of using the Resident Card in place of Passport while travelling to Lagos from any part of the world, the Governor said working with the Federal Government to control that process, residents could come into Lagos with their own cards.
Other possibilities that could accrue from the Resident Registration data, Governor Fashola said, include getting detailed information about prospective employees, adding that it would reduce the possibility of employing somebody who could bring disaster into ones home.
"This data base will help you to at least say that the Mr. X that came to your house was actually Mr. X", the Governor said adding, "And if you need more information, somewhere in regulatory control, we can provide it so that you can check people who you employ, who you do business with and who you entrust your assets to", he said adding that if it could happen in those other countries, only the peoples'mindset could stop it from happening here.
Noting that the State Government has provided the platform for residents to use and get registered, the Governor, who expressed regrets over the slow pace in the exercise, said Government may consider ending it in June next year as a result of the cost pointing out that in order to make registration easy for residents, Government provided three options namely, stationary registrations, mobile registrations and online registrations.
The Governor thanked the Traditional Rulers and other opinion leaders in the State for helping to sensitize their subjects and followers on the need for the registration as well as all the citizens who provided some form of accommodation for the workers across the State.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the event, Governor Fashola said the exercise was not about the present but about the future adding, "I hope and look forward to the day when the idea behind this card begins to materialize and translate to better security for Lagos, better quality of life, adequate water supply and delivery of public goods in much more reliable and efficient ways".
"I look forward to that day because the work continues but we are at the most defining point where data gathering and data management on a more robust skill is the real clincher now towards our civilization", he said.
In her remarks, LASRRA's General Manager, Ms Yinka Fashola, said the agency is largely independent with its own chief Executive, personnel, assets, data base and data equipping centre, adding that all of the data that have been collected now are hosted on a cloud which, according to her, is the most reliable and contemporary way to save data.
In his welcome address earlier, the Commissioner for Science and technology, Mr. Adebiyi Mabadeje, urged Lagosians to embrace the registration exercise pointing out that Government could not properly carry out its activities and allocate resources without proper planning adding that the data base would ease the process of policy implementation towards meeting the needs of the people.
Also present at the occasion were members of the State Executive Council, including Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Special Adviser on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Alawiye King, Oba of Apa Kingdom, HRH Oba Oyekan Ajose, Chairman SUBEB, Alhaja Bolaji Daudu and Alhaji Demola Kekereku, among other serving and retired government functionaries.