Posted by AFP on
Nigeria has started distribution of controversial national identity cards, in a scheme dogged by years of corruption and scandal, officials have said.
LAGOS - Nigeria has started distribution of controversial national identity cards, in a scheme dogged by years of corruption and scandal, officials have said.
At a ceremony attended by Lagos State governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, government officials on Monday began to distribute the cards to people who registered for them about 30 months ago.
The national identity card scheme, initiated by the federal government more than 20 years ago, has been mired by corruption in which several million dollars have allegedly been stolen by Nigerian officials.
In the past three years, at least three ministers and several other top government officials have been indicted and prosecuted for their alleged involvement in corruption over contracts for producing the cards.
After receiving his card, Tinubu warned residents in Lagos to obtain the cards in their interest as it would soon become their most important document, required for obtaining government services, including registration of vehicles and obtaining official land or house deeds.
Every Nigerian aged 18 years and above is eligible for a national identity card, which the government says will be useful for both identification and planning purposes, but they are not compulsory.
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