By EMMA ELEBEKE
THE Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Barrister Chris Onyemenam has again emphasised the importance of the National Identification Number (NIN), describing it as the true and only Identity every Nigerian can be sure of.
He disclosed this during the stakeholder’s event organised by the NIMC in Makurdi Benue State recently.
He noted that the NIN is a non-intelligent set of eleven (11) numbers assigned to an individual upon successful enrolment and consists of the recording of an individual’s demographic data and capturing of the (10) fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture and digital signature, which are all used in cross checking existing data in the National Identity Database to confirm that there is no previous entry of the same data. He debunk insinuations about possible duplication, saying that once the process is completed the data is then stored with the unique NIN that was assigned to it.
He also said that once the NIN is issued to a person, it cannot be used again, that is, it cannot be issued to another person even if the previous person is dead), stressing that the NIN helps to tie all records about a person in the database and enables individuals to assert their Identities.
Barrister Onyemenam, maintained that the present enrolment and the issuance of the NIN and subsequently, smart card which are stored in a database is different from the previous one that were mainly focused on the issuance of Identity Cards that are not verifiable.
He further explained that the current National Identity Management System (NIMS) will protect Nigerian citizens from identity theft and fraud, making life easier by providing easier and convenient means of identification anywhere in Nigeria and beyond and makes it harder for criminals to use false or multiple/ duplicate/ ghost identities.
‘‘It will reassure us all that civil/public servants are who they say they are, no ghost workers phenomenon again, and most importantly it will help in harmonizing and integrating Identity databases in all government agencies and also in the private sector and optimise use of government resources,’’ he assured.
The Director-General pointed out that the NIMS project is socially, economically and financially viable for Nigeria at this transformation time, and that it combines several advantages of the Lessons of other Countries as well as the Nigeria past experiences of botched attempts at National registration and Identification schemes.
Declaring the forum open, the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam represented by the Deputy Governor, Stephen Lawani said that the NIMS project will surely contribute to the development of the country, socially, economically, and in transforming the Citizenry. He congratulated the Director-General for the project and pledged that the State will Co-operate and support the Commission in implementation of the NIMS project in Benue State in particular and Nigeria in general.