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‘Why Federal Government launched new digital identity ecosystem’

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Aliyu Abubakar Aziz


The Federal Government said it launched the new Digital Identity Ecosystem programme to facilitate the collection of citizens’ biometric data nationwide within the shortest time possible.The Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, gave the explanation in Abuja, at the 2019 lunch time reform seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR).
  
“The purpose of the ecosystem approach is to leverage existing capabilities and enrollment facilities of government agencies, partners and private sector organisations in Nigeria, as opposed to building new ones,” Aziz was quoted in a statement.
   
This, he said, involves “coordinated efforts of all enrollment partners,” including all government agencies involved in biometric data collection as well as partners and companies in the private sector to be licensed by NIMC.

In his presentation titled:
“Reinventing Nigeria’s Digital Identity Ecosystem,” Aziz, an engineer, said with the approval by the Federal Executive Council of the National Roadmap on Identity Development in Nigeria, the NIMC Regulations 2017, ISO Certified and upgraded backend in place, “it’s now time to commence the implementation of the Mandatory usage of the National Identification Number (NIN).”

“NIMC will facilitate collecting of identity data (biometric and demographic data) by also ensuring that partners collect data and are paid per successful enrollment. NIMC stores data and uses same to offer a Unique ID to the citizens and legal residents,” he was further quoted.
   
Emphasising the importance of the digital identity ecosystem, he said: “There is a strong relationship or correlation between Identification and Reforms, both are central in realising effective delivery of important government services to the people.”With effective commencement of the mandatory usage on January 1, 2019, all persons must, according to Section 27 of the NIMC Act 2007, present their NIN for a number of transactions.

These include: Application for, and issuance of a passport; opening of individual and or personal bank accounts; purchase of insurance policies; subject to the provisions of the Land Use Act, the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any individual or any transaction connected therewith.

Others are such transactions pertaining to individuals as may be prescribed and regulated by the Pension Reform Act, 2004; such transactions specified under the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme; such transactions that have social security implications; registration of voters; payment of taxes, among others.

Clarifying further, Aziz said contrary to opinion, the mandatory usage of the NIN does not mean everyone must have been enrolled by January 1, 2019.
  
“What it means is that from January 1, 2019, to receive any of the above listed government services or others not immediately listed here, the agency offering the service must demand the NIN; and, where the individual has not previously been enrolled, the agency will immediately enrol such a person, send the data to NIMC and we then generate the NIN for the person.“This is the essence of the ecosystem approach, which is meant to fast track the entire process, thereby ensuring that all persons are enrolled in one-go,” 


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Aliyu AzizNIMC
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