Former director-general of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, has revealed that the commission has surpassed the 100-million milestone of registered Nigerians through the commission. He said that it reflects a concerted and strategic effort, emphasised by several key factors. These include an extensive enrollment drive, aggressive public awareness campaigns, continuous stakeholder engagement and partnerships, as well as enabling policies such as the NIN-SIM linkage policy, the harmonisation policy, and the policy on internally displaced persons registration.
By implementing an ecosystem approach, the agency leveraged the capacities and facilities of private and public sector organizations and it assisted greatly in the enrollment drive. Essentially, the achievement of over 100 million records within the commission database is a result of collaborative determination, target setting, and primary focus on NIN generation, unwavering public engagement, and strategic partnerships. The former NIMC head said it reflects the commitment to building a resilient identification system that underpins effective governance, accurate demographic insights, and improved service delivery.
Integration with NIS and JAMB has assisted with accuracy.
Aziz also said that the World Bank-driven Ecosystem project holds the potential to significantly impact the NIN issuance in Nigeria by enhancing its effectiveness, inclusivity, and accessibility. The project’s objective focuses on increasing the number of individuals with a national ID number through a robust and inclusive foundational identification system. This component aligns closely with the mandates and goals of NIMC, which aims to reform the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for the ID system. Strengthening these aspects will provide a solid legal basis for the NIN system’s operations and ensure that it operates within a well-defined and regulated environment.
Meanwhile, the NIN has been introduced and integrated in the immigration process of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the admission process of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The integration has greatly assisted in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of personal data for operational processing of the requested services. It also eradicates the challenges posed by multiple identities, ensuring that each individual profile is unified and consistent across various platforms. Consequently, this strategic alignment extends beyond operational enhancements. It endows it the integrity of a responsible ecosystem that serves as a cornerstone for national identity and security.
NIN can address security challenges in the country.
In all, these steps underscore the fact that the agency aims to seamlessly integrate the system into vital processes in the country. The former boss said that the agency’s overarching goal is creating a robust and secure identification landscape that empowers citizens, supports governance, and enhances national development. The importance of the scheme is in its ability to ensure that each record is unique and there are no duplicates. By doing this, there is accurate identification and verification of every person in the country.
Through the trusted identification mechanisms and the mandatory use of the NIN as proof of identity by every sector, using fake or multiple identities to fulfil know-your-customer requirements will be frustrated and reduced. This way, the NIN contributes to an environment where fraud and deceptive practices are reduced and making identity theft and impersonation more difficult. Additionally, the law enforcement agencies can use the system to identify and verify suspects or persons of interest. He said that synergizing the NIN and law enforcement is a proactive approach which will help in the response to security challenges. “By seamlessly integrating it into our security framework, we establish a formidable tool that safeguards our nation and bolsters our collective commitment to safety and stability,” he said.
Plans to harmonize biometric registrations in the country.
Speaking on the plans to harmonize the multiple biometric registrations in Nigeria, Aziz said that a dedicated harmonization committee has been instrumental in laying the foundation and setting the tone for the seamless integration of these diverse silo databases into the National Identity Database. Nigeria has different services which each requires going through the process of biometrics, such as voter’s registration, Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration, etc. So far, the harmonization of databases has begun with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) for BVN holders, immigration for passport holders, NCC for SIM cardholders and many other agencies.