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The implementation of Residency Card by the Ondo State government has pitched the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) against the state government, BABATOPE OKEOWO reports

To the Ondo State government, the implementation of the Residency Card otherwise known as kaadi igbe ayo is one of the best policies rolled out by the government since it came into office six years ago. But to the opposition elements in the state, the policy was of no use to the people, poorly packaged and badly implemented. Unlike previous policies, the opposition did not give the government any chance to prove its efficacy of the programme before tearing it into shred. But the ruling party also rose in defence of the government, saying it meant well for the people of the state. The opposition said since there is the National Identity Card began by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal level when they were in the saddle, the effort of the government was an exercise in futility. Also, the introduction of the payment of N2.000 irked the opposition who see it as another mean to impoverish the people of the state. The government had on July 2 began the implementation of the Residency Card with the aim of knowing the number of the people in the state and to know those benefitting from government policies and programmes. It also said the Residency Card would be a prerequisite for all residents of the state to access government facilities. Governor Olusegun Mimiko who made the pronouncement during the inauguration said multi-application smart card becomes the entry visa into all state government social services from the Abiye Safe Motherhood programme to the micro-credit and economic empowerment, highlysubsidised agric input and supplies, Free Education and others. Mimiko explained that Kaadi igbe ayo would not just be a new lexicon in the vocabulary but an integral part of life in the Sunshine state.

His words: “You would recall that at the inception of this administration in 2009, a 12- point programme tagged ‘A CARING HEART’ was rolled out as a guiding paradigm of our people- oriented administration. This underlying philosophy formed the platform for our mission “to mobilise the people of Ondo State to harness all God-given resources, create and use wealth for the collective fulfilment, individual happiness, and peaceful co-habitation in an environment of transparent and honest leadership. Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the enforcement of the smart card in the health sector has exposed 70 per cent of on non-resident who were benefitting from the free health programme of the government. He said the enforcement would soon be extended to other sectors of the state government programme. He added that the government would not go back on the enforcement of the policy as it would not fold its arms and allow non-residents to benefit from it.

However, the opposition APC and the pioneer Coordinator of the agency responsible for the programme, State Information Technology Development Centre (SITDEC), Engr. Tunji Ariyomo, said the programme was another way to impoverish the people of the state and another ploy to siphon government money. The APC in a statement signed by its state publicity secretary, Abayomi Adesanya, said: “The over-hyped ‘Kaadi igbe ayo’ project is another conduit pipe deliberately built to siphon public funds by the Olusegun Mimikoled administration in the state.” Adesanya alleged that over N5 billion of taxpayers’ money have been spent on the project without any corresponding benefits for the good people of the state. His words: “The Ondo State APC wishes to draw the attention of the general public, especially the good people of Ondo State, to the anti-people and wicked policies of Mimiko-led administration, which have assumed a dangerous trend.

“The governor should know that, what the people of Ondo State desire is a better life, good road network, job opportunities for the youth, revamping our moribund industries, accountability, urbanisation of our towns and villages, portable water, affordable and accessible health care services, prompt payment of salaries and entitlements of workers and pensioners, not a valueless card that over N5 billion of their money have been spent to produce coupled with a levy of N2,000.” Similarly, Ariyomo who is the pioneer Coordinator of SITDEC tackled the state government over the introduction of N2,000 levy for the collection of Residency Card by the people living in the state. Ariyomo said the payment of the levy would further pauperise the people of the state who have been finding it difficult to live due to irregular payment of salary to the civil servants in the state. According to him, the government should not have introduced the levy as there is no record that the people of the state have resisted or abandoned their statutory responsibilities in terms of payment of extant dues, taxes, levies or charges. He said to impose sanctions in this “austere period in form of a N2,000 kaadi igbeayo levy is the height of public administration’s recklessness and uncaring attitude.”

His words: “To make such payments a prerequisite for accessing public utilities and services is sheer wickedness. Information Technology is designed to make life more comfortable for the masses. It was never conceived as an instrument of terror. Current technology in fact does not require you to own a card or carry one before critical data on a subject could be collated, preserved or accessed.” Ariyomo said the present move of the state government would further pauperise the people of the state and make them pay undeserved penalties for sins committed by strata of governments in Nigeria that refused to save for raining days despite the recent unprecedented oil-boom. His words: “There are turns of incredible win-win options and opportunities for massively increasing the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Ondo State or any other state in Nigeria. These they have refused to explore. This fixation with punishing the masses as the only means of increasing revenue is unacceptable.”

However, the Publicity Director of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Hon. Banji Okunomo, stated that the APC and those opposed to it needed to be educated on the importance of the Residency Card, saying the essence of the scheme was to provide a database for the citizens of the state. He noted that the present PDP government in the state has recorded many successes in the provision of social amenities for the people of the state which is also being enjoyed by the people of the neighbouring states. Okunomo said the registration became imperative to guarantee the legitimate right of the people of the state and to enjoy the facilities provided by the state government. He said: “In view of the foregoing, we are duty bound to let the APC and its co-travellers know that the essence of this scheme is to provide a data base for the citizens of this state so that they can have absolute access to the dividends of democracy that is solely designed for the people of Ondo State by their government.

“It is an incontrovertible fact that the Ondo State Government has accomplished so much in the provision of amenities and social services for its people and yet another indisputable fact is that some neighbouring states controlled by the APC have failed grossly to provide for their people and therefore their people have simply moved over to Ondo State to enjoy from the social amenities provided for our people. “Therefore, the essence of the need for our citizens to enjoy register for the Kaadi igbe ayo is to guarantee their legitimate right to the good programmes of the Mimiko administration rather than allow our neighbours to simply cross the borders and reap from where they are not entitled to benefit. “To liken this project to the National ID Card scheme is to exhibit high level ignorance that is not permissible in view of the enlightenment done so far on the various applications of the multipurpose residency card,” he said. Okunomo, however, called on the leadership of the APC to wake up to its responsibilities by piling pressure on its government to deliver its promises to the people of the country. “APC is yet to separate itself from the mentality of an opposition party to a ruling party much expected to deliver on the dividends of democracy as promised Nigerians in their change agenda. The APC is unrepentantly trading in their act of castigating the PDP for their own incapacity to set the stage on as a ruling party as it were,” he said.

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The implementation of Residency Card by the Ondo State government has pitched the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) against the state government, BABATOPE OKEOWO reports

To the Ondo State government, the implementation of the Residency Card otherwise known as kaadi igbe ayo is one of the best policies rolled out by the government since it came into office six years ago. But to the opposition elements in the state, the policy was of no use to the people, poorly packaged and badly implemented. Unlike previous policies, the opposition did not give the government any chance to prove its efficacy of the programme before tearing it into shred. But the ruling party also rose in defence of the government, saying it meant well for the people of the state. The opposition said since there is the National Identity Card began by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal level when they were in the saddle, the effort of the government was an exercise in futility. Also, the introduction of the payment of N2.000 irked the opposition who see it as another mean to impoverish the people of the state. The government had on July 2 began the implementation of the Residency Card with the aim of knowing the number of the people in the state and to know those benefitting from government policies and programmes. It also said the Residency Card would be a prerequisite for all residents of the state to access government facilities. Governor Olusegun Mimiko who made the pronouncement during the inauguration said multi-application smart card becomes the entry visa into all state government social services from the Abiye Safe Motherhood programme to the micro-credit and economic empowerment, highlysubsidised agric input and supplies, Free Education and others. Mimiko explained that Kaadi igbe ayo would not just be a new lexicon in the vocabulary but an integral part of life in the Sunshine state.

His words: “You would recall that at the inception of this administration in 2009, a 12- point programme tagged ‘A CARING HEART’ was rolled out as a guiding paradigm of our people- oriented administration. This underlying philosophy formed the platform for our mission “to mobilise the people of Ondo State to harness all God-given resources, create and use wealth for the collective fulfilment, individual happiness, and peaceful co-habitation in an environment of transparent and honest leadership. Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said the enforcement of the smart card in the health sector has exposed 70 per cent of on non-resident who were benefitting from the free health programme of the government. He said the enforcement would soon be extended to other sectors of the state government programme. He added that the government would not go back on the enforcement of the policy as it would not fold its arms and allow non-residents to benefit from it.

However, the opposition APC and the pioneer Coordinator of the agency responsible for the programme, State Information Technology Development Centre (SITDEC), Engr. Tunji Ariyomo, said the programme was another way to impoverish the people of the state and another ploy to siphon government money. The APC in a statement signed by its state publicity secretary, Abayomi Adesanya, said: “The over-hyped ‘Kaadi igbe ayo’ project is another conduit pipe deliberately built to siphon public funds by the Olusegun Mimikoled administration in the state.” Adesanya alleged that over N5 billion of taxpayers’ money have been spent on the project without any corresponding benefits for the good people of the state. His words: “The Ondo State APC wishes to draw the attention of the general public, especially the good people of Ondo State, to the anti-people and wicked policies of Mimiko-led administration, which have assumed a dangerous trend.

“The governor should know that, what the people of Ondo State desire is a better life, good road network, job opportunities for the youth, revamping our moribund industries, accountability, urbanisation of our towns and villages, portable water, affordable and accessible health care services, prompt payment of salaries and entitlements of workers and pensioners, not a valueless card that over N5 billion of their money have been spent to produce coupled with a levy of N2,000.” Similarly, Ariyomo who is the pioneer Coordinator of SITDEC tackled the state government over the introduction of N2,000 levy for the collection of Residency Card by the people living in the state. Ariyomo said the payment of the levy would further pauperise the people of the state who have been finding it difficult to live due to irregular payment of salary to the civil servants in the state. According to him, the government should not have introduced the levy as there is no record that the people of the state have resisted or abandoned their statutory responsibilities in terms of payment of extant dues, taxes, levies or charges. He said to impose sanctions in this “austere period in form of a N2,000 kaadi igbeayo levy is the height of public administration’s recklessness and uncaring attitude.”

His words: “To make such payments a prerequisite for accessing public utilities and services is sheer wickedness. Information Technology is designed to make life more comfortable for the masses. It was never conceived as an instrument of terror. Current technology in fact does not require you to own a card or carry one before critical data on a subject could be collated, preserved or accessed.” Ariyomo said the present move of the state government would further pauperise the people of the state and make them pay undeserved penalties for sins committed by strata of governments in Nigeria that refused to save for raining days despite the recent unprecedented oil-boom. His words: “There are turns of incredible win-win options and opportunities for massively increasing the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Ondo State or any other state in Nigeria. These they have refused to explore. This fixation with punishing the masses as the only means of increasing revenue is unacceptable.”

However, the Publicity Director of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Hon. Banji Okunomo, stated that the APC and those opposed to it needed to be educated on the importance of the Residency Card, saying the essence of the scheme was to provide a database for the citizens of the state. He noted that the present PDP government in the state has recorded many successes in the provision of social amenities for the people of the state which is also being enjoyed by the people of the neighbouring states. Okunomo said the registration became imperative to guarantee the legitimate right of the people of the state and to enjoy the facilities provided by the state government. He said: “In view of the foregoing, we are duty bound to let the APC and its co-travellers know that the essence of this scheme is to provide a data base for the citizens of this state so that they can have absolute access to the dividends of democracy that is solely designed for the people of Ondo State by their government.

“It is an incontrovertible fact that the Ondo State Government has accomplished so much in the provision of amenities and social services for its people and yet another indisputable fact is that some neighbouring states controlled by the APC have failed grossly to provide for their people and therefore their people have simply moved over to Ondo State to enjoy from the social amenities provided for our people. “Therefore, the essence of the need for our citizens to enjoy register for the Kaadi igbe ayo is to guarantee their legitimate right to the good programmes of the Mimiko administration rather than allow our neighbours to simply cross the borders and reap from where they are not entitled to benefit. “To liken this project to the National ID Card scheme is to exhibit high level ignorance that is not permissible in view of the enlightenment done so far on the various applications of the multipurpose residency card,” he said. Okunomo, however, called on the leadership of the APC to wake up to its responsibilities by piling pressure on its government to deliver its promises to the people of the country. “APC is yet to separate itself from the mentality of an opposition party to a ruling party much expected to deliver on the dividends of democracy as promised Nigerians in their change agenda. The APC is unrepentantly trading in their act of castigating the PDP for their own incapacity to set the stage on as a ruling party as it were,” he said.

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