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Nigeria to make biometric ID mandatory for port users, using biometrics for 2018 census


Nigeria’s minister of transportation has approved a unified biometric identity card for operatives and workers to access any seaport facility in the country in an effort to improve security, according to a report by Business Day.

Isichei Osamgbi, head of corporate communications of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said in a statement that “it is now compulsory that every port user including workers can only have access into ports on the presentation of the issued unified biometric ID.” The initiative is intended to further increase security at the ports, the statement said.

Dakuku Peterside, the director general of the NIMASA, added that the agency will continue to work towards achieving full compliance to the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

As the designated authority (DA) for the implementation of the code in Nigeria, NIMASA has been training staff to ensure that the ports and jetties remain safe for economic activities, Peterside said.

He said the training was a follow up to last August’s Ports Facilities Security Officers (PFSO’s) Training conducted by the IMO and NIMASA.

“This training is a continuation of the series of trainings highlighted for technical support by the IMO for enhancement of Nigeria’s maritime security in line with global best practices,” Peterside said. “The training will equip participants with in-depth skills of carrying out audits and further reflect high level compliance by stakeholders.”

He commended other parastatals organizations, especially the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for their efforts in helping to establish a safe maritime environment.

In May 2013, NIMASA was appointed the DA in charge of executing the ISPS code after the disbanding of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS).

NIMASA recently received commendations from the US Coast Guard for surpassing the 70 percent benchmark in compliance level.

In other news, Barrister Muhammadu Aminu Jason, the Sokoto state commissioner of the National Population Commission, recently announced that the 2018 census will be biometric based to avoid human error, according to a report by Ventures Africa.

Last month, the commission begin the third phase of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in Illela local government area of Sokoto State, which will be expanded beyond the 2018 census.

The EAD exercise will be used to form a national data pool for creating accurate locality lists including house numbering for subsequent censuses.

Aminu said that Nigerians should be optimistic about the outcome of the 2018 census, as the commission is deploying advanced biometric technology to ensure a successful EAD exercise.

In the previous EAD exercise, the commission had divided 37 local government areas in all the 36 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Earlier this month, the Nigerian government said it will register at least 16 million farmers in a new biometric database to enable them to receive benefits from intervention packages during the 2017 cropping season

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