I think the Lagos State government has commenced the compulsory registration of lagos residents this week, starting from today, 20th May 2013. I am a bit skeptical about this endeavor because from what lagosians have experienced from other state owned agencies like LASTMA and LAWMA, me thinks that this is another avenue for the Fashola led government to generate more income. I even heard from the grapevine that lagos state government intends to introduce an entertainment (owambe-party) tax levy on merry making lagosians, because this is an industry that lagosians spend over N6 billion naira on, annually.
The Lagos State Residents Registration Law was established in 2011. It is meant to provide a database that would serve as a register containing “all the demographic information of all residents of lagos state”, and it would ensure that every resident will possess a highly secured unique identification number and card and help identify every person living in lagos. Consistent with this official position is the claim that the residents’ registration is a reaction to the agreement reached last October between Mr. Fashola and his Ogun State counterpart, Mr. Ibukunle Amosun to apply the residency rule to resolve the lingering boundary disputes and cases of multiple taxation affecting workers and residents in 15 border areas of both states.
But I think this might be an avenue for Fashola to ensure that everybody living in Lagos pays his or her taxes. Remember the census before the civil war? How can we even trust the lagos state government not to use the important data/information to reveal the target residences of a tribe that is targeted for extermination just as they did in 1966 during the progroms!!! Tell you the truth, I am not troubled about the tax issue, but I am more scared of this ethnic issue. I hope and pray that we Igbo’s do not experience what happened in 1966 again.
It is important to register residents in each state, but I thought the Federal Government of Nigeria had some kind of registration for Nigerians. And it is free. I saw that on television but government officials, especially the so called National Orientation Agency has failed to inform and enlighten Nigerians of the importance of registering. Sections 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, guarantees that Nigerians have a right to freedom of movement and freedom from discrimination respectively. LASTMA and LAWMA are both bad examples of what Lagos Government have set out to achieve for lagosians. LASTMA has failed to ensure the free flow of traffic in lagos roads because they are only interested in raking in money and they then look for offenders. Even the so called lagos traffic laws have not solved any problems. We have a lot of busses on lagos roads, and these busses and “keke-marwa’s” block our roads at each bus stop, waiting to horde invisible passengers.
LAWMA also has forsaken their responsibility of ensuring that lagos remains clean and now chase offenders, especially those unfortunate small business road side shop owners, who do not come out on thursdays to clean their environment on the market clean up day. So, I hope this noble endeavor would not lead to ensuring that the less unfortunate lagosians from other states, are not chased away this time.
You can visit the LASRRA official website which is http://www.lagosresidents.gov.ng/home/ and see how you can register. You can either register online or at a center. But you will definitely get registered at a center because they need to capture your biometric data(finger print n facial photograph). You also will need your rent receipt and a current utility bill and any of the following; International passport, drivers license, voters card, employers letter, tax receipt, etc. The registration is free. You can also get a center close to you online.
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