Nigerian citizens to be issued unique national identity numbers

January 4, 2013 - 

The National Population Commission (NPC) in Nigeria has started a comprehensive biometric capture exercise, which aims to collect biometrics from every Nigerian citizen and resident, Vanguard reports.

Designed to curtail insurgency and other criminal challenges, this new objective will ultimately issue unique identity numbers to Nigerians, not unlike the Aadhaar program initiated by the Unique Identity Authority of India, which similarly aims to capture the biometrics of all of India’s 1.2 billion habitants.

Since its implementation, Aadhaar numbers in India have been used for extensively to offer services to Indians. As reported in, the Department of Social Welfare in India is planning to launch a scholarship payment program using state-issued Aadhaar numbers.

According to the Chairman of the NPC Chief Festus Odimegwu, biometric identification would help to streamline the avalanche of foreigners into the country, as well as work to fight kidnapping and armed robberies.

“We are going to do for the first time in Nigeria a comprehensive biometric census.” The chairman said. “To record all Nigerians, their biometrics, give them one number that will follow them from birth to death.”

As reported previously in, in 2012, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria announced its proposal to capture the biometrics of every Nigerian and issue national identity numbers within a period of only 30 months.

Later in 2012, Odimegwu said other government agencies (such as the NIMC) which had been collecting biometric data will pool that information with the NPC. The chairman also controversially suggested that any Nigerian who is not captured in this most recent demographic survey will not be recognized as a citizen of Nigeria after the 2016 national population census.

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj