Nigeria’s digital identity agency NIMC to get $61M funding to upgrade identity infrastructure
Nigeria’s cabinet, the Federal Executive Council, has approved N25 billion (U.S.$61 million) for the upgrading of identity infrastructure at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), reports the Nigerian Tribune, though staff pay could be high on the list.
Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy announced the funding and revealed that more than 62 million people have now been registered on the National Identity Database. He also said the money would be released in stages and pressed NIMC’s Governing Board and management to use it judiciously.
Dr Pantami also noted the poor pay and conditions for NIMC staff and that the agency was losing skilled personnel to other organizations and other countries including Eritrea, Canada and the UK.
“It was at this point, after series of briefings from the Acting Chairman of the Governing Board, Director General, and top management; and meetings with representatives of the staff union, that I came to appreciate the dire necessity to reform and rejig the NIMC personnel architecture and the urgent need for intervention for the upgrade of the National Identity Management System (NIMS),” the minister is quoted as saying.
His speech accompanying the announcement suggests a possible change of tone. In April 2021 Dr. Pantami seemed more infrastructure-minded while negotiating on the federal funding.
It is not yet clear how the money will be spent or the timeline for its disbursal.