National ID | Nigeria enlists global forces to capture 50m citizens by 2018

National ID | Nigeria enlists global forces to capture 50m citizens by 2018

National ID | Nigeria enlists global forces to capture 50m citizens by 2018

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The Nigeria government says it has tied a partnership with , European Union (EU) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD)  under plans to capture 50 million more Nigerian into the (NIN) system by end of 2018.

Engineer Aliyu A. Aziz, who heads  , says the the agency responsible for management is adopting a new ecosystem to fast track National Identity Management program underway in Nigeria.

According to him, “right now we have over 30 million records in our database. With the ecosystem, NIMC plans to capture additional 50 million records this year.”

National Identity Management programme involves gathering of personal biometric information of Nigerians and residents in the country.

Under the partnership deal, the NIMC boss says the ecosystem will be solely funded by the World Bank, European Union (EU) and French developmental agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

The new Identity Ecosystem starting from June 2018 ”is a sustainable system where any of the data collecting Government agencies or licensed private agency can enroll and capture data from Citizens and legal residents and send to the NIMC backend”, the NIMC chief says.

Engineer Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)
Engineer Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)

According to him, “right now we have over 30 million records in our database. With the ecosystem, NIMC plans to capture additional 50 million records this year.”

President Muhammadu Buhari on 21st December 2015 gave a directive for all Government agencies collecting demographic and of citizens and legal residents, to harmonize their data into a single database, to be housed and managed by NIMC.

Aziz says that “most of the agencies that collect data do so for their own unique functions but they are duplicating in the sense that the they are buying equipment for biometrics including the Automated Biometrics Identification System (ABIS), which checks all the finger prints, face and the iris to determine the person is unique and it is the most expensive part of the system.”

To prevent duplication of functions and curtail wastage, the Federal Government mandated NIMC to harmonize the data of all these agencies, in essence NIMC provides the foundational identity while they provide functional identity, he adds.

According to the NIMC CEO, “we came up with regulations that expand and are very clear that for every Government service you must provide a NIN and that it should be linked to civic registration (birth and death registration) to ensure retirement of the NIN to sweep out the dead in the database.”

NIMC is going to use neutral technology to ensure there is no vendor lockout in the system that usually happens with this type of project, he explains.

The database security was of utmost importance in the project, Aziz says noting that “we are building a trustworthy system with the legal, technical and security sectors to ensure there is data protection and privacy.”

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