By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Director-General/CEO of National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz says Nigerians have finally embraced the mandatory use of the National Identity Number, NIN as a means of identification in the country.
Aziz, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday said Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the General Public deserve to be commended for making it happen by embracing the NIN for identification, which has led to the rapid growth of the National Identity Database (NIDB).
He attributed the embrace by the general public to the implementation by the Stakeholders of the Commission especially members of the Data Harmonization Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that a unified identity database is achieved.
Pursuant to Act No. 23 of 2007, the NIMC boss noted that the Commission was established to amongst others create and manage the National Identity Database, enroll citizens and legal residents and issue them a unique National Identification Number (NIN), A General Multipurpose Card as well as harmonize and integrate existing identification databases in Government Agencies into the National Identity Database.
“Section 27(1) and (2) of the Act, 2007 also mandates all Government and Private Agencies providing services as captured in the NIMC Act to make the NIN a prerequisite for service provision to Citizens and Legal residents,” he added.
According to him, the NIN not only affirms the identity of an individual, but it also avails the Government necessary information needed for national planning, creation of social intervention initiatives, allows individuals access services, claims, and entitlement, tracks and monitors crime, curbs corruption nationwide amongst other numerous benefits.
Acknowledging the immense benefit a successful functional National Identity Database possess to the development of the Nation; Government Agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), Pension Commission (PENCOM), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), etc, he said all the agencies are currently in compliance with NIMC by making the NIN a prerequisite for transactions and accessing services they provide.
The DG/CEO further reiterated the Commissions’ commitment to providing digital identity for all Nigerians and Legal residents and assured that the issues of lack of sufficient Enrolment Centres to cater to the population will soon be a thing of the past as the Commission will soon commence the Digital Identity Ecosystem. Wherein both Public and Private sectors of the economy will be licensed to capture both demographic and biometric data of those that have not yet been captured into the NIDB
“The Ecosystem is a NIMC Project in partnership with the World Bank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU) that seeks to scale up the enrolment process. The system will allow licensed Government and Private Partners to enroll and issue the NIN to individuals and send data to the NIMC backend. This will guarantee an increase in enrolment figures, expansion in Enrolment Centres Nationwide and speedy delivery of the NIMC services“ Aziz said.
He called on Nigerians and Legal residents that are yet to enroll for the NIN to do so to avoid being disenfranchised and also urged Government and Private Agencies that are not in compliance with the implementation of the mandatory use of NIN to commence so before the Commission begins high scale enforcements very soon.