Nigeria lauds increased participation in national digital ID registration process
The federal government of Nigeria has expressed satisfaction with the recent level of participation of citizens in the ongoing process to obtain and register their national identification numbers (NINs) with their SIM cards, as more than 8 million new digital ID enrollments have been logged in less than a month.
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is overseeing the process, said in a statement that President Muhammadu Buhari is happy with the “progress made” regarding the exercise.
NIMC also urged citizens to continue to collaborate with authorities on the biometric enrollment process to make the most of the latest eight-week extension period for linking the digital ID. Earlier scheduled to close on February 9, the deadline was on February 1 pushed to April 6 following an inter-ministerial meeting of the task force on NIN-SIM registration.
Meanwhile, the NIMC statement indicates that during a recent task force meeting, it was noted that a total of 56.18 million NINs have so far been obtained by mobile network operators, marking a significant increase from the 47.8 million figure of NIN registrations reported on January 18.
The President has reportedly called on citizens to take full advantage of the extension and participate in the exercise given the importance of the NIN which is issued by capturing biometric features biographic details of the registrant.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria applauds all Nigerians and persons of other nationalities for their understanding, cooperation and for enthusiastically participating in the exercise. The Honourable Minister (of Communications and Digital Economy) also commended the efforts of NIMC, NCC, MNOs and all other relevant government and private sector organisations for their unflinching support towards the success of the exercise. President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his satisfaction with the progress made regarding the NIN-SIM linkage and commended the Honourable Minister and all stakeholders for their roles. He encouraged citizens to take advantage of the extension to fully participate in the process,” a portion of the statement reads.
NIMC, in the statement, also reechoed the importance of the NIN saying the digital ID is also needed for purposes such as “application for and issuance of a passport, opening of personal bank accounts, purchase of insurance policies, voter registration, obtaining credit, among others.”
The ongoing NIN-SIM linkage move in Nigeria has been mired by some controversy, the latest of which is a lawsuit file by a civil society organization in Edo state praying a High Court to halt the process.
NIMC hopes to have 100 million biometrics-backed digital IDs issued by the end of 2021.