Federal Government has declared its determination to provide a lifelong unique identification for every individual physically residing in Nigeria and Nigerians in the diaspora within the next five years Aliyu Aziz, Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), made the declaration yesterday, while speaking at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Identity for Africa (ID4Africa) Movement holding in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Addressing the over 1,500 delegates at the world’s largest identity for development gathering, Engr. Aziz stated that for Nigeria to enhance governance, help its people rise out of poverty, restore growth and participate in the digital economy, “we need a unique digital identification platform that is linked to functional ID registries for accessing services.”
In realization of the demands to function in the digital economy for sustainable growth therefore, Engr. Aziz told the audience that Nigeria is executing a digital identity ecosystem project endorsed in September 2018 by the Federal Executive Council, the highest decision-making organ of government.
Laying bare the grand plan by the government in his paper titled ‘Digital Identity the Cornerstone to Effective Service Delivery’ Engr. Aziz revealed that the “Strategic Roadmap Vision is to reach universal coverage of robust digital identification in Nigeria” by applying an ecosystem approach of enrolling citizens of all ages and legal residents within the set time-frame.
“The ecosystem approach of enrollment will constitute trusted partners, and a pay-per-play model for successful enrollments,” Engr. Aziz said, adding “the purpose of the ecosystem approach is to leverage existing capabilities and enrollment facilities of government agencies, partners and private sector operators in Nigeria, as opposed to building new ones.”Explaining further, he said the ecosystem approach leverages the capacity of “all ID stakeholders in the ecosystem to reach full coverage of the target population.”
Engr. Aziz listed some unique and beneficial features of the digital ID ecosystem approach to include, among others: -Federal Government-led initiative to collect biometric data nationwide in one go; coordinated effort to avoid duplicating data
collection at high cost and time; leverage existing ecosystem of Government agencies (including Federal, State and LGAs) and Private sector organisations; NIMC facilitates collecting identity data (biometric and demographic data); Partners collect data and are paid per successful enrolment; and NIMC stores data and uses same to offer a Unique ID.
The director-general named some of the stakeholders and partners in the ecosystem approach to include the National Population Commission, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Health Insurance Scheme, National Independent Electoral Commission and the Federal Road Safety Commission.