ENetSuD TELLS KWARA ASSEMBLY TO DECLINE RESIDENTS REGISTRATION BILL
The functions of the Kwara State Residents Registration Agency proposed by the bill are to create a reliable database for all residents of the state for planning, security, welfare, employment, etc.; and to issue resident cards for qualified residents to ensure easy identification of residents; among others.
In the composition of the Agency’s board, Executive Chairman of KWIRS, Perm. Sec. of Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Director-General of Kwara State Bureau of Statistics; and others are members. The proposed Agency is also empowered to appoint its own employees from time to time as approved by the Governor. The bill proposed compulsory registration of all Kwara residents within 6 months after the commencement of the law. This Bill is coming at a time that the compulsory registration of all Kwara citizens has not been achieved for Universal Health Coverage by the Kwara State Government (KWSG) as provided in the existing law, even though the present administration has started well by enrolling people into the Health Insurance Scheme in phases.
In a public hearing presentation by Mr. Sideeq Bola Mustapha who is the Deputy Coordinator (Special Duties), ENetSuD posited that while the concept behind the proposal for the Agency is laudable and gains our full support, it is of the opinion that creation of a new agency to perform these important functions is needless. “The KWSG already has a Ministry of Planning, a Bureau of Statistics, and the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS, with presence in all the LGAs). We are also aware that the immediate past administration of Abdulfatah Ahmed initiated Kwara Residents Identification Number (KRIN) under the KWIRS, which has not been significantly implemented to date by the KWSG. The difference between the KRIN and the proposed Agency is not worth the creation of a new agency”.
Continuing its justification for requesting the KWHA to decline the bill, ENetSuD said: “The present administration is still struggling to fix infrastructural deficits with meagre resources, servicing loans, and still applying for same. The Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, reported that over 75% of the State’s monthly allocation is being used to pay salaries of civil servants, even though such percentage is still for the outdated ₦18,000 minimum wage as the State has not implemented the currently lawful ₦30,000 minimum wage.
“We insist that there is no need to create another agency to do a work that some existing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) could do satisfactorily with minimal cost to the state from taxpayers’ money. Guaranteeing good administrative result is not about the number MDAs that we have in the State, rather, it is about the efficiency of our existing MDAs”.
“The KWSG needs to make the civil service that gulps the largest percentage of the state’s allocation more productive as there is no commensurate value for money paid to many civil servants in the existing MDAs at the expense of taxpayers in the informal sector (who are the largest in the state). So, the KWSG should devise methods by which the numerical strength of the state workforce can be more productive rather than creating new agencies that raise serious financial implications on our Commonwealth”.
“In order to fulfil the important intention of database creation and residents’ registration in the State (which the proposed Agency sought to offer), the KWSG should explore and strengthen the KRIN that is already in existence without implementation. The State Bureau of Statistics should be empowered to handle any necessary database of residents for the state. Either the Bureau of Statistics or the KWIRS can be empowered to issue the resident cards. Furthermore, the KWSG can recruit ad-hoc staff to strengthen the existing staff that will work in concert with the National Population Commission during the proposed national census to generate the current database needed rather than wasting the meagre resources of the state on a new agency. Subsequent residents’ database can be updated and maintained by the State Bureau of Statistics”, ENetSuD concluded.
Usman Radhiyyat Taiye (Mrs),
Deputy Coordinator (Administration),
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD)
9th October, 2020