October 1, 2012 -
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria announced a proposal to register 100 million Nigerians in its recently introduced biometric database system within a period of 30 months.
NIMC Director General Chris Oneyemenam, said in an interview with newspaper Leadership, that the proposed project will require Nigerians, who are 16 years and above, to participate in the biometric registration that involves capturing and enrolling all detailed information of an individual.
The participants will then be issued a National Identity Number (NIN) and a National Smart Card, which will integrate and harmonize a variety of important databases including driver’s licence, voter’s registration, sim registration, and online banking.
Presently, the NIMC has a newly reformed mandate that will provide an authentic and unique identification number to its citizens and legal residents.
This project was specifically formulated to mitigate and dissolve Nigeria’s problem with security and identity threats.
“Nigeria lacks a comprehensive database for its citizens as 75 percent of the available identity documents are fake or self-issued and they are sectoral silos without a common key,” Onyemenam said. “With a reliable national identity database in place, challenges of security and fraud would be dealt with because it would checkmate security threats.’’
Onyemenam affirmed that the commission had been collaborating with various organizations such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and communications providers. He said that everything that is needed to complete the project is already set, the law, the infrastructure, and the private and public partnerships.
Identity Database Department Director Aliyu Aziz also disclosed that the introduction of this project will promote forensic security for Nigeria.
“It will involve areas such as payment services, transit, identity, economy, health and education,” Aziz said. “The card is authentic and cannot be duplicated; so even if it’s stolen it will be useless.”
Will the implementation of this project mitigate fraud, identity theft, and security threats in Nigeria?