Nigeria works to harmonise biometric data

September 3, 2015 - 

Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said it had begun collaborating with other federal agencies in the issuance of National Identification Number (NIN) to create a strong national database, according to a report by Business Day.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NIMC director-general Chris Onyemenam said that the collaboration process is in its advanced stages, with several collaborating agencies being named.

These agencies include Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Pension Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

NIMC is seeking to develop a strong national identity card database that would help security agencies to track and prevent corruption cases.

Upon completion, the agencies would eliminate cases of double enrolment during registration for national data, Onyemenam said.

”It is expected that with the planned harmonisation, which will effectively link all federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) biometric databases, citizens will not be required to have their biometrics taken every time by these institutions in the near future,” Onyemenam said. ”Also, the MDAs will invariably act as valid agents to the NIMC, collecting their own data as well as providing data required for the issuance of the National Identity Number (NIN) by the NIMC.”

The commission completed plans to provide pre-enrolment services on smartphones, which would enable citizens to enrol using their smartphones.

Using the pre-enrolment services by smartphone, Nigerian citizens of all ages should be able to complete their demographic enrolment within the next two months before visiting NIMC Enrolment Centres for their biometric data capture to finalize their enrolment.

The process should help to alleviate congestion at NIMC enrolment centres as well as ensure that citizens enrol at their convenience before the cut-off date.

Once individuals successfully enroll they will be assigned an 11-digit National Identity Number (NIN), which represents their personal information in the National Identity Database. Once the NIN is issued to an individual, it cannot be used again.

Onyemenam said he is pleased with the ongoing distribution of the National Identity Card and that Nigerians appreciate its value.

”The public is greatly appreciating that NIN and not the card, is their identity,” Onyemenam said.
‘’Accordingly, a task force has been set up by NIMC to ensure faster distribution of the card by increasing the number of Card Collection Centres across the country.”

Previously reported, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recommendations for government agencies to share the biometric data of citizens through a unified collection and usage procedure.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.