Following the realisation that modern economy needs a trusted and secured identity system, the Federal Government, through the National Identity Management Commission, appears set to begin total enrolment of the over 167 million Nigerians and legally resident foreigners in the country before the end of second quarter of this year.
Before now, Nigeria had focused on issuing just Identity cards but with the current mandate, NIMC is to issue National Identity Numbers to duly registered persons in the country.
NIN is a non-intelligent set of uniquely assigned numbers to individuals upon successful enrolment, which consists of recording of an individual’s demographic data and capture of 10 fingerprints, head-to-shoulder facial picture and digital signature that are used to cross-check existing data in the National Identity Database to confirm there is no previous entry of the same data.
This was disclosed by the Director General of NIMC, Dr. Chris Onyemenam, in Abuja during a facility tour of its National Identity Management System infrastructures of the commission, located at its head office in Abuja and its world-class Data Recovery Centre in another part of the North by select media houses. The Data Recovery Centre was built by Galaxy backbone, another government agency.
According to Onyemenam, the pilot exercise for the scheme kicked off in Abuja on February 23, 2012. However, the pilot exercise has been extended to each state and now to the 774 local government areas and that the nationwide enrolment will commence before the end of June.
“By the end of second quarter of 2013, we expect the actual nationwide enrolment exercise will be launched by the Presidency. From the time it is launched, it is our target to have hit 100 million enrolments in 30 months after the enrolment, the NINs would be issued.
“This will be followed by the issuance of cards that are Chip and PIN based, designed with more than 18 security features embedded, making it difficult for the cards to be cloned by fraudsters.”
In his statistics presentation, Director Information Technology/ Database, Aliyu Aziz, described the e-ID as having 100 per cent poly carbonated card, seven layers fused without adhesives, a life span of 10 years that is ISO/IEC 7816,ICAO 9303-compliant. Stressing that the e-ID became imperative because government discovered that over 75 per cent of identity documents were fake as well as insecurity, reaching its peak in the country, including bombings and kidnappings.
Adding that the card issuance was funded 100 per cent by the government, Aziz revealed that companies like NXP, Crypto-vision, Neuro-technologies, S-P-S Smart packaging solution and Austria cards were the card technology partners.
NIMC intends to harmonize very ID card irrespective of the organization or agency by issuing unique identification number for every citizen just like the Social Insurance Security number in Europe. Similarly, ID cards like driver’s licence, SIM registration, Voters registration card, Health insurance cards and National Pension Commission cards (PENCOM) would be combined into one e-ID card.
In order for the harmonization to be executed properly,the Commission disclosed that NIMC had started to recruit graduates, who will be trained extensively in order to avoid mediocrity on the job.
Already over 158,000 graduates had applied for the 1,750 available jobs. Aziz noted that the benefits of the scheme include becoming a trusted means of ID, improved physical security, improved human rights, improved governance and service delivery.