Computer professionals to support NIMC as union seeks more funding
Workers blame lack of database for poor COVID-19 palliative distributions
Computer professionals in Nigeria have expressed their readiness to support the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in actualising the dream of digitally capturing and issuing of identity cards and numbers to Nigerians.
Under the aegis of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the professionals said this became necessary after discovering that the progress of work on the NIMC project is not good enough.
Speaking through its President, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, NCS said the aspiration for a national identity for all residents is a laudable one in any country in the world and Nigeria is not left out, however, the project has been fraught with some hitches in the country.
On this, Sodiya said the body is ready and capable of solving the challenges on the project in Nigeria.
But earlier in a statement from NIMC workers’ union, it noted that the absence of credible database in the country is currently posing a big challenge to the distribution of palliatives to the vulnerable Nigerians.
The union appealed to the Federal Government (FG) to effectively fund the Commission to enable it delivers on its statutory mandate.
Chairman of the union, Lucky Asekokhai, who stated this in Abuja, observed that government’s efforts of the FG to provide succour to vulnerable Nigerians following the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 has been facing identity crisis in terms of the recipients of palliatives. This led to a widespread outcry and criticism by concerned Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, which expressed dissatisfaction with the mode of the distribution.
He noted the Covid-19 and matters arising should compel government to, as a matter of urgency, provide the Commission with required financial capacity to capture all Nigerians within two to three year. This will as well help it and its allied security agencies to easily fight national and transnational crimes like terrorism and other criminal impunities in the country bordering on identity theft or manipulations, among others.
Continuing, Sodiya, who said identity management exercise dated back to 1976, during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, noted that the management of the current pandemic can be better managed with a good and acceptable National Identity database.
Sodiya proposed that NCS shall support NIMC to create a framework for issuance of temporary National Identity Number (NIN), using complex data matching algorithm and facial recognition. He explained that this will allow Nigerians to register for NIMC by themselves using a simple mobile phone, where the application will be capable of working offline to upload to the central server when the network is available.