By prince Osuagwu
The National Identity Management Commission, NICM, last week, announced that it has captured about 1.2 Nigerians into the ongoing registration for National Identity Numbers, NINs.
The Director General of the commission, Dr. Chris Onyemenam, who disclosed this at a one-day Business Forum organised by NIMC in partnership with the Nigerian-America Chamber of Commerce in Lagos also hinted that the identity numbers will be issued in 2014.
Onyemenam said that 2014 would witness more aggressive attempt to enrol more Nigerians as his commission, targets 40,000 enrolments per day in 2014.
According to him, ” the total number of enrolment is in excess of one million and the expectation is that as soon as the current efforts are completed we will be talking in terms of an increase from 40,000 per week to 40,000 per day.”
He explained that the project wa aimed at providing a national infrastructure for identity authentification and verification for both government agencies and the private sector in Nigeria.
He added that, “the national identification is targeted at providing a national identity infrastructure that will enable every other government agencies that is involved in providing services to streamline their service delivery chain so that they can be able to affirm that those who are benefiting from the services are those that really should benefit from those services.
“This will ultimately deliver some of the efficiency or value add, in the service delivery process and also create better utilisation of available resources.”
Also speaking at the forum, the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Plc, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe, urged corporate organisations not to see NIMC as a rival agency but rather strategise on how they leverage on the commission’s infrastructure by hooking into its database.
Corroborating Ilukwe, many other stakeholders at the meeting, admitted that time had gone for bitter rivalry when everywhere in the world, collaboration is making industries stronger.
They lamented the lack of unified identification database system in Nigeria, stressing the need to fast track the issuance of the new NINs.
In his comment, President, Nigerian-America Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Sam Ohuabunwanoted lamented that lack of proper national identity management systems has done serious havoc to the country.
Ohuabunwa said that non-availability of a unified and verifiable identity system had caused a lot of identity thefts to the country, which have resulted in economic loss and image damage.
For him, there was need for all Nigerians to support the new identification initiative,because it will put an end to all other identification projects by various agencies and private organisation which have not even taken off, let alone solve a single of Nigeria problems.