LATEST NEWS: Ensuring Smarter Lagos.

Ensuring Smarter Lagos


RECENTLY, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, unveiled a multipurpose residents smart card tagged “Lag ID” with a unique identification number for identification of every resident, irrespective of tribe, age or status.

The smart card is a one-stop access card to live in Lagos and the first of its kind in Africa. It serves as a replacement for all other cards issued by the state government for a more efficient access to government services and other personal benefits.

With the card, all kinds of transactions can be made. It is safe and complies with all financial regulations and it is globally certified. The new card offers a transition from an ordinary plastic card, meant only for identification purposes, to a smart, multi-purpose ID that combines biometric identification with other benefits such as security, financial services, transportation and access to government services and amenities.

Lagos started enrolment of its residents for residency registration in 2011 to create a reliable database to enable effective and realistic planning by the government, especially for the provision of social services and amenities. Already, 6.5 million residents had been enrolled on the database by LASRRA, with the state witnessing four-fold increment in registration in the last three years.

With the launch of digitised card format, Sanwo-Olu said the government would be targeting to capture 10 million residents on the database before the end of the year. This new residency ID, according to the Lagos State Resident Registration Agency, LASRRA, is a multipurpose smart card with 28 applets that make the provision of 28 services possible to the cardholders.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new ID card, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the relaunch is borne out of the need to embrace change and align with global best practices.

He said: “We have upgraded the residency card from an ordinary plastic card, for identification purposes only, to a smart, multi-purpose card that combines biometric identification with other functionalities and benefits. This smart residency card will help us to address the issues surrounding the identification and traceability of Lagos residents, and ultimately help inform government’s planning and provision of services designed to secure lives and property. The card comes with an electronic wallet, which can hold funds and be used for daily transactions to support the cashless agenda of the monetary authorities.”

The Governor said Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, would be leveraging the database to validate residents for the purpose of delivering essential services, including health insurance, pension administration, school allocation based on residential addresses, and other necessary social amenities. Sanwo-Olu solicited for the cooperation of all residents to register and acquire the card in order to enjoy the benefits on offer, and to enable government to plan effectively and allocate budget for the delivery of good governance against the backdrop of the state’s growing population.

He said: “The political will and commitment of this administration to ensure that we are delivering on our mandate effectively and efficiently has led to heavy and ongoing investment in Information Communication Technology, ICT, infrastructure on multiple fronts.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Olatunbosun Alake, said the launch of the smart residency card became another foundational layer on which the government’s Smart City project would stand on, noting that the new card would also promote inclusion.

Explaining the details of the re-launched card, Alake said the registration procedure now came with elastic and expandable biometric interfaces to allow updates of information. He added that the card utilises industry standard security chips that prevent duplicated identities and profiles. “We have a cloud redundancy system that allows 24 hours operations and a highly rated machine accuracy system. It has back-end cloud workload protection and two-factor authentication to make changes to information originally supplied, such as physical address,” Alake explained.

In her remarks, General Manager, LASRRA, Ibilola Kasumu, noted that Lagos residents’ registration is essentially a tool for efficient planning, adequate provision and equitable distribution of resources for Lagos residents. This, she said, is necessary for the residents to be fully incorporated into the developmental plans of the state and enjoy the dividends of democracy. 

According to Kasumu, the smart card is designed with 28 applets for different services and it comes with three activated applets for biometrics, finance and transport. The remaining 25 applets can also be customised to other services such as insurance, health, education and various online-added services by the government agencies as well as the private sector.

The holders of the old card need to update their records to obtain the new LAG ID card with a validity period of five years. The new card allows flexibility to onboard more features and expand usability in view of fast-changing technology trends. The LAG ID Card project is pivotal to the Lagos Smart City initiative and it is essential for key purposes of planning and distribution of infrastructure, security, social protection, financial inclusion, and disaster and emergency response management.

The impact of technology on the global identification landscape includes making it cheaper and easier to identify people accurately, as well as access services quicker. With the LAG ID Card, children can have easier access to educational services from primary to secondary to tertiary institutions in the state. Sterling Bank utilises the activated applets for finance in partnership with the government, while the transport is utilised by LAMATA.

Residents that have registered before 2018 are to log onto the portal, validate and update their record to reflect present status for instance a change of marital status or change of address at no cost. The procedure is simple and flexible with a systematic guide. The residents can fill out the form in the comfort of their homes or offices on their phones or computer. When it is completed, a reference number would be generated. Then, all that is required is for the enrolee to just do a screenshot or write out the number, which would be taken to any of the LASRRA centres for capturing and your information would be validated 24hours after registration.

It must, however, be stressed that the enrolment/registration is not complete without capturing. Over all, there are 62 registration centres in all the 57 Local Government Councils and 16 enrolment partners within the state with the numbers expected to increase soon. In addition, there are three special registration centres: Lagos State Waterways Authority Jetty in Falomo, Ikoyi; Adeyemi Bero Auditorium and the Lagos State Office for Disability Affair, LASODA, Secretariat,  Alausa.

Economically, the project creates viable opportunities for a robust public and private sector partnership. There are opportunities for enrolment partners, applets partners and a host of value chains along that line. The smart card production, being a verve card, is done in Nigeria with locally sourced materials in line with international standards. Residents are enjoined to kick off their registration on the LASRRA 

website  and visit any LASRRA center nearest to them for biometrics capturing to complete their registration for the new LAG ID Card. Registration is free.

Otuyemi is of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja

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