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National database to capture 10 fingers

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
05 June 2019   |   4:19 am
As part of efforts to create a security and development-oriented National Citizens Database, the Federal Government is to embark on a new biometric...

•NCC wants listing of Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile on Stock Exchange
As part of efforts to create a security and development-oriented National Citizens Database, the Federal Government is to embark on a new biometric exercise for Nigerians, capturing all 10 instead of the five finger prints.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders’ Management at the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Sunday Dare, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja recently.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has urged the three big Mobile Network Service Providers to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Dare said the movement towards having a National Citizens Database had commenced as a technical and legal committee was already working on it, adding that the scheme would take into consideration citizens with any form of finger deformities.

He recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last year gave a directive that all the data generating agencies like the NCC and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) among others, should submit all data to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMCS) towards creating a National Citizens Database.

Dare observed that the NCC, in 2017 to 2018, worked with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to agree on four different ID cards. They are the Permanent Voters Card (PVC), National Drivers License, National ID card and the International Passport. Whichever one is presented for query, the citizen’s database will come up with information about the holder.

The commissioner, who described fixed lines as integral part of any security network, noted that the lines are tied to individuals’ physical location and with it, crimes are easily detected, and people easily located.

“Land lines are not as susceptible as mobile lines. This country needs its fixed lines again, but it needs the federal will and might to bring back the fixed lines. We have seen an increase in kidnapping in the country and the attempt to link it with unregistered SIM cards. Both registered and unregistered SIM cards can be used to commit a crime,” he said.

Dare said further that what is ongoing between the NCC and the Mobile Network Operators is a continuous process of verification and not about invalid SIM cards.

“The moment we find any SIM card with incomplete biometrics and data, we will block the line. Once you buy a new SIM card, and fails to use it within 48 hours, we will block it.

“The moment a SIM card is reported to have been used to commit crime, the number has to be reported to NCC or the Police and we go to the operators, who will query their database to pull out information on the SIM card. Also, the security agencies have equipment they use to triangulate the person using the number up to 500 metre proximity.

“We will get the complete data but sometimes you see the passport of a four year old, other information will be correct but without a correct picture. Since we found this to be prevalent, we have Emergency Communication Centres fitted with state-of-the-art communication system in each state of the federation, and about 18 are already active while others will be fully active before the end of the year. If you call 662 or 112, someone will pick,” he said.

On the telecoms operators, he said: “Airtel has announced plans to be listed, but part of their plans is to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, and then perhaps come here. MTN has done it and it is expected that other operators will follow suite and I think they are working on it.”

“We have to set a timeline. I know Airtel is talking to SEC; it is a process. It is expected that the big four, Airtel, 9Mobile and Globacom will be listed on the stock exchange.”