National Digital Identity Ecosystem; Another Milestone In The Nigerian Public Service Reforms, Arabi Says.

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Ag. Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr. Ibrahim Arabi has said that the Federal Government has recorded another giant stride by setting up a solid foundation for an integrated database for legal residents in Nigeria. He disclosed this at the Lunch Time Reform Seminar series held recently.

Arabi in his opening remarks delivered by the Director, Strategy Innovation & Research (SIR) Mr. Anyang Inyang described the innovation as apt and timely considering the myriads of challenges confronting the nation at this critical period. He said that the technology employed by the Federal Government was targeted to institute improved performance and quality service delivery to citizens and legal residents in Nigeria.
Speaking further, he underscored the economic importance of the electronic card which aids the overall planning especially in budgetary terms making adequate provision for the needs of legal residents. He also said the information collated would provide the platform for people to hold reform drivers accountable.

Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) who was the guest speaker at the event gave a very stimulating and engaging presentation which explained the workings of the entire Digital Identity Ecosystem. According to him, NIMC’s mandate as established by Act no.23 of 2007 expressly defined the role expected of the commission. He said NIMC does not capture data but collate all the data generated by other agencies and private firms to be integrated into the national database. The data collated would then be issued in a paper slip which reflects the 11 digits National Identification Number (NIN)
The DG, NIMC said that its database has about 34 million subscribers with an average compliance of 500,000 on monthly basis. He said the NIMC card is a smart card with multi- functions expected to display similar features like the BVN.

Fielding questions from the audience, the DG, NIMC urged residents to get captured in the database of agencies i.e. INEC, National Population Commission (NPopC) so that their information will cumulatively reflect in the databank of NIMC. He equally gave an example of India with a huge population of over one billion and how they have gone beyond capturing finger prints into using Iris capture to evade the problem of Heat (similarity) in biometrics and data collation.

Speaking further, Aziz told the gathering that the process has become expensive and printing of the e-cards is no longer sustainable which is the major reason residents already captured are not getting the cards. He emphasized that people should focus more on having the 11 digits number generated as their National Identification Number (NIN) as a basic requisite for any registration or enrolment they may need in future.
He reiterated that the digital identity ecosystem has helped reduced the time of generating the NIN which usually lasted about 7 days but can now be done almost instantly. Abubakar further asserted that the cards would subsequently be issued after payment by 2022. He also spoke about the population growth rate which is very germane to national planning and the need to constantly make provisions for the future.

Ag. DG, BPSR in his earlier remarks thanked the DG, NIMC for his efforts in revolutionizing the National Database system for harmonized socio-economic and political growth through a world-class service delivery.

Femi Alegbeleye