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Group urges Nigeria to deploy biometrics in upcoming census

Digital ID issuance climbs to 102M
Group urges Nigeria to deploy biometrics in upcoming census

Afenifere, a socio-political organization working on behalf of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, believes using biometrics during Nigeria’s planned population census will enhance the accuracy of the census outcome.

As part of their discussion during a meeting held in Ondo state on August 30, members of the Pan-Yoruba group said the federal government must consider using biometrics as it does with voter registration, according to a statement from the group seen by Biometric Update.

“The meeting took note of the census coming up next year. It was noted that the biometric method was successfully used for Voter Card registration.” Afenifere has therefore called on the federal government to make the National Population Commission “use the same biometric method rather than the manual method that is prone to abuse, as has happened several times in the past.”

This call ties in with the ambition of the National Population Commission, which had said in the past that it plans to use advanced technologies, including biometrics, in order to avert manipulation and fraud during the exercise.

After it failed to take place in May as planned, it is not clear exactly when the census will begin. This will be the first digital population census in Nigeria.

Over 102 million are now enrolled in digital ID

In the meantime, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has given updates on the latest digital ID figures, saying more than 102 million people are now registered.

The Voice of Nigeria, reporting on the NIMC figures, lists 102.39 million National Identification Numbers (NIN) as of August 28.

The statistics show 743,085 persons were enrolled in August, slightly up from the 634,603 registered in July.

Lagos state holds the digital ID enrollment lead with 11.17 million registrants, followed by Kano state with 9.07 million, per the NIMC figures.

The ID-issuing authority recently named a new director general, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, who was immediately greeted with calls to expand digital ID coverage in the country so that the 148 million World Bank enrollment target by June 2024 can be met.

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