Nigerian States receive biometric devices to step up digital ID enrollment
The National Identity Management Commission of Nigeria (NIMC) says it has boosted the digital ID enrollment capacity of all states in the country with the distribution of biometric devices.
In a recent media release signed by the NIMC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, the agency said approval for the distribution of the devices was recently given by the ID authority’s Director General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote.
The devices have already been received and deployed by the states, the release mentions. Nigeria has 36 states.
“The provision of additional enrollment devices underscores the commitment of the DG/CEO to streamline operations and enhance overall effectiveness. The systems have since been installed and in use across all the states and have not only resulted in the reduction of time spent by applicants but have also increased the number of applicants attended to daily,” notes the release.
It further mentions that the NIMC boss has dispatched monitoring and evaluation teams to various registration centers nationwide to ensure a “smooth running of enrollment and modification exercises.”
The release also reiterates the resolve of the NIMC CEO to fight against certain malpractices plaguing the digital ID registration process.
“The teams will also ensure strict compliance with her zero-tolerance stance against all forms of extortion and unethical practices. Engr. Coker-Odusote has emphasized that her administration will not condone extortion of applicants and has since directed that any staff found wanting will be dealt with in line with the provisions of the constitution and extant Public Service Rules.”
Recently, the NIMC head ordered a revalidation exercise of third-party digital enrollment partners following recurrent complaints of extortion as well as a barrage of debt claims.
The distribution of devices to States to ramp up digital ID enrollment resonates with past calls for the NIMC to take steps towards expanding digital ID coverage in the country.
More than 104 million Nigerians have registered for digital ID, but enrollment remains a big struggle for people living with disabilities, including lepers.
A report by Punch chronicles the ordeal faced by these categories of persons in their effort to obtain a digital ID, the lack of which makes life frustrating for them.
Some lepers, cited in the report, narrate their bitter experiences, saying the inability to have some of their biometrics captured leaves them excluded from a number of important services. Characteristically, lepers have deformed hands and faces making it difficult to have their face photos and fingerprints properly captured.
The Nigeria Identification for Development (Nigeria ID4D) initiative, which is supporting digital ID efforts in the country, has pledged in the past to facilitate enrollment for people with disabilities.