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Nigerians decry duplicative biometric capture for SIM registration, ID cards, SIM-NIN linkage…

Nigerians decry duplicative biometric capture for SIM registration, ID cards, SIM-NIN linkage…

The distress of Nigerians over repeated episodes of biometric capture for different identification purposes has been highlighted by local outlet The Guardian.

The newspaper reports that many Nigerians are fed up with recurrent calls by authorities for biometric capture either for SIM card registration which started in 2011, the issuance of different IDs such as the NIN, BVN, voter’s card, and passport, and now the SIM-NIN linkage process.

In all of these, the process has not been easy for citizens who have had to pay the price given the siloed nature of government data systems.

Per the outlet, an estimated sum of 57 billion Naira (around $49 billion) has been spent on biometric capture and related processes for SIM card registration in the last 13 years, but there is nothing much to be proud of. This amount of money is believed to have been spent on aspects including investment in infrastructure, education and sensitization campaigns, logistics and other operational costs.

According to checks by The Guardian, around 318 million SIM cards have been registered since the process started in Nigeria, and about 99 million of them are said to no longer be in use. It is also estimated that telecommunications operators spent around 17 billion Naira (about $14 billion) on processes related to the registration of those SIM cards which are no longer active on any network.

In the face of the challenges facing SIM registration and other processes where the submission of biometric data is required, stakeholders have called on the government to put in place a harmonized interoperable data system where information can be seamlessly shared among agencies.

Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is quoted as saying that an integrated system where various ID databases are linked will streamline information management and also drive financial inclusion.

In the past months, some SIM cards not registered or verified with the Nin have been blocked Nigeria.

NIN issued to over 105M Nigerians

In a NIN-related item, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has announced that more than 105 million people now have the NIN, with 200 million in total expected to have the digital ID by 2025.

The NIMC Head of Corporate Communication, Kayode Adegoke, gave the update in a message, reported by Punch.

The target means that the ID authority must register an additional 95 million people, an objective it says it has been taking steps to meet.

One of the streamlined ways of registering for the NIN is through the self-service app which has bene made available to the public.

The commitment from the NIMC comes not long after Idemia concluded a deal to expand Nigeria’s biometric ID system to accommodate data for 250 million digital IDs.

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