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Next for Nigeria’s NIN: location tracking and smart cities

Next for Nigeria’s NIN: location tracking and smart cities

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has launched a call for proposals from the country’s academics with the aim of developing solutions in areas including smart cities as well as identity management and location tracking systems using the national identification number (NIN).

One of the areas of the research is the development of sensors which can be used for smart city applications such as traffic management systems, smart parking, smart grid, smart homes, smart institutions, smart public services, public safety and emergency response and smart network management.

In the area of ID management, the NCC is looking for proposals on how telecommunication networks can be used for ID management and location tracking using the country’s digital ID system. The solution to be developed in this area should be able to help in ID verification and authentication, location tracking and privacy, and be easily integrated with other systems, according to the request for proposals document.

Other focus areas of the research initiative include the design and implementation of efficient solar mobile phone or battery chargers; solutions for the commercial production of high capacity batteries for telecommunication equipment; design and implementation of artificial intelligence-based predictive maintenance solutions for telecoms infrastructure; the development of cybersecurity solutions to curb cyber-attacks; and the development of smart intrusion detection and alarm systems to curb theft and vandalization of telecoms infrastructure.

The NCC is Nigeria’s telecommunications industry regulator and has the mandate to support telecommunications-based innovations and research from tertiary institutions in the country capable of developing the telecommunications space.

Interested researchers have until 12 March to submit their proposals. The document also outlines requirements and eligibility criteria for submitting a proposal.

Mobile subscriptions rising amid SIM-NIN linkage pressures

The call for research comes at a time when there is a growth spiral in mobile subscriptions in the country, with the number rising to 222.23 million in 2022, reports Punch citing statistics from the NCC.

The outlet notes that the mobile subscriptions are going up despite hassles faced by Nigerians following a December 2020 government directive to have all SIM cards linked to the NIN.

Between December 2021 and December 2022, the number of subscriptions rose from 193.13 to 222.23 million, with MTN cited as the telco with the biggest number. The figures are projected to increase by at least 18 million in the next two years.

In the meantime, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed that 95.5 million persons have already enrolled for the digital ID (NIN) as of 22 January, with the State of Lagos topping the log, writes Nairametrics.

According to the NIMC figures, 53.6 million of the enrollees are male while 41.4 million are female.

Nigeria has ambitions to complete its biometric ID registry by 2025.

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