EFCC, ICPC, CBN, 200 others licensed to boost NIN enrolment
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has approved the licensing of 173 private sector agents and 30 public sector institutions to conduct enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The Director-General/Chief Executive of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, explained in a statement that the agents were picked after successfully fulfilling all the conditions in the advertised expression of interest (EOI), which was done in 2019 as a first step towards the take-off of the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.
According to the statement, a breakdown of the successful licensees shows that 16 state governments were licensed, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Prominent among the public sector institutions licensed are the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Pension Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria (through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc), the National Population Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Joint Tax Board and Nigeria Postal Services.
Other public sector organisations issued licences include the Military Pensions Board, Abuja Enterprise Agency, the Corporate Affairs Commission, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services and National Commission for Refugees, the Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.
The main mobile network operators in Nigeria, MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile are among the 173 private sector organisations licensed while Etranzact, VDT Communications, the Unified Payment Services were also successful.
Seven NGOs, namely the Africa Youth Growth Foundation, An Nadaa Educational Foundation Arrida Relief Foundation, Hadejia Ina Mafita Initiative Community Based Organisation Mimido Initiative and Development and Murna Foundation were also licensed.
The licensing of enrolment agents is in line with the Federal Government’s strategy to scale up enrolment and issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN) to Nigerians and legal residents, thereby liberalising the enrolment process and opening up the sector for multiple players.
The Digital Identity Ecosystem project’s goal is to increase the number of enrolment centres in the country from the current meagre1000 to 10,000 and enrolment figures from the current figure of 43 million to 200 million within the next five years.
The initiative is one of the cardinal pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS). It is driven by the NIMC working with the public and private service-providers as partners, including State/Local Governments, Public Institutions, Civil Society Organisations, and qualified private vendors for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents in Nigeria into a centralised and secure National Identity Database.
The initiative is also to support the Federal Government’s effort at tackling insecurity in the country. The project aims to eliminate the bottlenecks involved in the enrolment process. It will also improve the identity authentication of citizens and make all identity-related transactions safe within and outside the country.