NIMC urges Nigerians to get their National Identity Number

Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria have been urged to enroll and get their National Identity Number (NIN) and later their National Identity card as NIMC has not suspended the production and issuance of National identity card.

DG/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engineer, Aliyu A. Aziz made the call in an exclusive interview with a Voice of Nigeria in his office.

Engineer Aziz explained that if all Nigerians get enrolled, this would in turn enhance national development.

He said, if you segment the mainstream population of Nigeria, it is only about 5% that travels, do banking transactions, drive; and therefore do identification papers. The rest of the population does not have any means of identification. The resultant effect is that Government finds it difficult to deliver services to the poor, be it health, education, relief materials, loans and empowerment as Government does not know them and their location.

On his leadership approach, he said, since his return to the Commission as the DG, after his retirement in 2014 as Director, Information Technology/Identity data management, he had to rethink the strategy of the Commission by focusing more on National Identity Number (NIN), rather than National Identity Card.

As a result of this approach, the Commission was able to take the enrolment figure to 30 million 2018 from a mere 7 million since the inception of the scheme he said.

He said it is only Nigeria as a Country; that does not take the issue of identity seriously. If you look at even small countries that neighbor Nigeria, they have one form of identity for its citizens. In developed Countries like US, UK and even developing ones like India, the emphasis is more on a number, known as National Security/Insurance number, but not card.

On the issue of many Government and private Agencies such as; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Population Commission (NPC), National Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Immigration Service (NIS), Telecommunications companies and Banks harvesting data from Nigerians, Eng. Aziz, said NIMC is the only Agency of Government mandated by law to harmonize, authenticate and keep this data for Security.

Mobile Enrollment

The NIMC Boss stated that mobile enrolment centers were introduced to enroll migrant populations like the Nomadic Fulani and fishermen.

He noted that the Commission would also license private, State and Local Government to enroll migrant populations.

He however called on the Nomadic Fulani and migrant fishermen to enroll and get their NIN/ card as very soon they will be periodically required by Security Agencies to show their identities, especially in the terror ravaged area of the North-East and some trouble spots in the Country.

On the enrolment of Nigerians in Diaspora, the NIMC DG, said, the Commission is working with immigration desks in Nigerian Embassies abroad to ensure that Nigerians abroad enroll as they visit the embassies to obtain/ update their travel passports.

He said, NIMC, also works with Nigerians in the Diaspora (NIDO), an umbrella Association of Nigerians living abroad to prevail on their members to enroll and get their NIN.

On the issue of Data security, Eng. Aziz, said NIMC is ISO 2017 certified and all its processes followed international standards and protocols. He pointed out that, NIMC does not collect transactional data, but identification data, therefore, one needs additional data from separate Agencies to commit fraud or cause security breach.

As part of the successes recorded so far, the NIMC Boss, revealed that the Commission has commenced the enrolment of children. The Commission has also commenced aggressive public enlightenment campaign in rural areas and the use of local languages, traditional, religious and opinion leaders to educate the public on the importance and benefits of the scheme.

Source: Voice of Nigeria