Friday, 3 July 2015

Ondo launches Govt smart cards, directs residents to pay N2,000 for services

Residents of Ondo State will have to pay N2,000 each to secure a smart card that will grant them open doors to social and economic benefits. This is as a result of the formal roll out of the Residency Card project on Thursday by the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko.

According to Mr. Mimiko, “it is a no card, no access, plan”, which would bar those without it from any of the government’s heath care, economic and educational benefits. But the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state has described the project as a “mega fraud,” aimed at justifying the billions of naira wasted on the programme in the last six years.

Chairman of the party, Isaac Kemeke, told PREMIUM TIMES that the project was started six years ago, and billions of naira belonging to the state had been sunk into it without any benefit.
“This is one of the projects the state government started some six years ago when Governor Mimiko came into office. People talk about social security card when there is no security.
“They said it is to access social services. Where are the services? Where are the water, roads and all they have promised? It is a mega fraud,” Mr. Kekemeke stressed.

However, Mr. Mimiko argues that the Residency Card, otherwise known as “Kaadi Igbe-Ayo” would henceforth be a prerequisite for all residents of the state to access all government social services.
Mr. Mimiko said the No Card, No Access policy takes immediate effect and residents of the state above the age of 15 should apply for the cards.

He said although about four hundred thousand Residency Cards had been distributed in the state free of charge since its commencement, new applicants would have to pay N2,000.
He also said from September 2015, income taxes would be required through the cards to access social services.

“Kaadi Igbe-Ayo becomes the entry Visa into all state government social services from our Abiye Safe Motherhood programme, to the micro-credit and economic empowerment, highly-subsidized Agric input and supplies, free Education.
“Kaadi Igbe-Ayo‎ is a state-wide, dynamic, chip-based multipurpose transaction card that contains the Basic Bio Data as well as Socio-economic data of holders and the state welfare package solutions and Applications,” the governor said.

He explained that the initiative of the residency card was in fulfillment of his administration’s promises at inception to know the residents and where they live in the state.
The governor noted that the card was programmed to facilitate services rendered to beneficiaries at any service point with accurate and precise records of transaction.

“It is a smart card that serves as an interface between the state government and all residents. It is the instrument of access to all democratic dividends of the present administration. “Other benefits are reduction of unwarranted greed and hoarding; Racketeering; pilfering and diversion which had been the bane of social welfare programmes in governments, as well as reduction in crime and criminal activities,” he added.