The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed that the production of permanent National Identity cards would be a huge cost for the nation.
Aregbesola while speaking fielding questions from journalists in Ilesa during the weekend said the NIN which is the most important aspect likened to citizens number can be used without expending the scarce resources on the production of cards.
The interior minister also claimed the country’s borders are now more secured with the deployment of data capturing system at all land entry points.
He, however, added that reopening of land borders does not permit movement of contraband goods into the country, saying all commodities that are not produced in the ECOWAS subregional countries remain outlawed.
Aregbesola said the government cannot stop the movement of people, especially citizens of the sub-regional states, but ensure proper and efficient documentation of inflow in the country.
He explained that the deployment of Migration Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the nation’s land borders, migrants data, including Nigerians would be effectively documented through biometric data capturing.
“Nigeria is a member of ECOWAS and the essence of the sub-regional organisation and its key factor is the free movement of people. The passport we are carrying is ECOWAS passport now not even Nigeria passport, what that means is that as a Nigerian, we are ECOWAS citizen and as such there would be natural movement of people across the states but they must be documented.
“The initial border closure is not about restricting movement because that movement is natural but now that four land borders have been reopened, we must have the document of people entering from our borders, including Nigerians.
“For that, we have deployed technology which is called MIDAS, (Migration Information Data Analysis System) with this technology in the four borders we reopened, it will register whoever passes either a Nigerian or none across our borders and once you have registered, it is for life.
“It captures individuals biometric data and other details into a central database. Nobody can be anonymous through our border posts anymore.
However contraband items are still banned, those items are foreign. As a matter of fact, parboiled rice is eaten, I think only in Nigeria and probably Ghana out of the ECOWAS countries, so what is not produced in all of these States remain illegal,”
Speaking on his purported strange relationship with his successor, the former Osun State Governor said he has no rift with Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, saying he deliberately stayed away from the state to allow the new government to settle down and now that it is time to galvanise political activities in the state he would be more frequent to interact with the people.
“I have clarified the issue of the rift, that I had no rift with anybody, yes, I have been away from here for quite a while simply to allow the new government to settle down and with what I have seen I will now engage with people.
“The party is strong and I will visit here more frequently to strengthen it more because we need it”, he added.