The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has reaffirmed that it is committed to carrying out its statutory responsibility to Nigeria and to Nigerians.
This assurance was made over the weekend by the Director-General/CEO of the Commission, Engr. Aliyu Aziz in Abuja.
This is in line with the NIMC Act 2007 which establishes the Commission and clearly defines its role and responsibility to Nigerians. So far, we have enrolled over eleven million unique data into the National Identity Database (NIDB). We have also printed about a million National e-ID Cards, and have issued over four hundred thousand of these Cards to their owners. Most of the unissued cards are lying in the NIMC State Offices, the owners are yet to come and collect them.
There are ongoing plans to outsource the personalizing and printing of the National e-ID Card to private printing bureaus, so that we can clear the backlog of the unprinted Cards and issue them to their owners before long.
Although the Commission is recently facing funding challenges which seems to be slowing down its planned activities and timeliness; this was not peculiar to the Commission as the country is currently undergoing economic restructuring, and scarcity of funds, as such, allocations are not readily made available to MDAs, including NIMC. This is a temporary interruption that will soon be over, as government is geared towards reinvigorating the funding mechanism for the Commission.
However, the funding challenge has not deterred NIMC from carrying out its obligations as it has continued to provide service at its over 400 Enrolment Centres across the country, and the number of citizens who have obtained their NIN has continued to increase, even as more Nigerians have been urged to go to the closest NIMC enrolment Centres to register.
NIMC has also refocused its efforts on the harmonization of data with other agencies, as it has become imperative to ensure we ramp up the records in the National Identity Database to deliver better service to the nation.
We have commenced harmonization with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) records, so any one that has registered for the BVN will get their NIN; so far we have processed two million records from the BVN data collected.
In addition, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has also agreed to release data from the ongoing Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards registration exercise to the Commission, all these are in line with the Federal Government’s directive to sister agencies collecting biometrics to harmonize and integrate with the NIMC being the central repository of biometric data in Nigeria.
By 2019, it is projected that NIMC should have over a hundred million unique records at the central database. At that time, we would have commenced the enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN for all services and transactions requiring the authentication and verification to confirm individual’s identity. At that time also, whoever that has not enrolled (and is not a child) will be required to pay a token in order to get enrolled for the NIN. So it is advisable for everyone to get enrolled and get the NIN before that times comes.
Outsourcing of the card printing to other printing bureaus in Nigeria will also ensure that once you enroll for the NIN, you will get the National e-ID Card immediately or within a maximum period of seven (7) days.
Loveday Chika Ogbonna
Head Corporate Communications, NIMC