The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) says the country needs N134.23 billion to reduce the backlog of people without National Identity within the next three years. Also, the Commission said it has enrolled 34 million Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database and issued them the National Identification Number (NIN). Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, said the country would have spent over $1billion but for harmonisation committee comprising 23 agencies of the federal government that reviewed the options and arrived at $433m for the 3 years plan.
While announcing the figure at the Lunchtime Seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Sector Reforms, BPSR, theme, The National Digital Ecosystem Strategic Road Map for the Enrolment of Nigerians and Legal Residents into the National Identity Database: An Exposition’ Aziz said the approval of the strategic roadmap for the identity ecosystem for Nigeria was in line with the Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the country’s status in the global economy. The NIMC DG said the implementation of the roadmap will gradually move the country towards achieving the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, launched in April 2017.
He said, “In December, 2016 when the enrolment figure stood at only 14 million, the NIMC DG had set the target to double the figure so as to capture 28 million Nigerians and legal residents into the database by December 2017, and it has risen to 34million in 2018.” According to him, “The remarkable achievement could not have been possible, but for the dedication, commitment and sacrifices made by members of staff of the Commission on the one hand and the unalloyed support of government at all levels despite the economic meltdown recently witnessed in the country.” Explaining that the NIN bequeaths citizens with a lot of privileges and benefits, the DG listed some benefits to include one-person-one-identity, ability to verify and authenticate individual’s identity, access to services, claims and entitlement and benefit from government social interventions.
The digital identity ecosystem is a framework that leverages on the existing capabilities and infrastructure of distinct government agencies and private sector organisations to carry out enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the national identity database. Speaking on the need for the collaboration, the Director-general of BPSR, Mr Dasuki Arabi argued that not too many Nigerians are aware that the mandatory National Identification was scheduled to commence on January 1, 2019. Represented by Mr. Iyang Ayang, Arabi said the BPSR seminar was organised to intimate the public of the National identity and to shed more light into the activities of NIMC.