The Guardian
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Government may begin hamonisation of biometric data bases Q2


The Federal Government may commence the hamonisation of the various biometric data bases in the country by second quarter. These data bases, according to information gathered by The Guardian, included the National Population Commission (NPC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC); Bank Verification Number (BVN) and the National Identity Number, that is handled by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The Subscribers Identification Modules (SIM) cards, which gulped about N6.1 billion from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) purse and about N30 billion from the Mobile Network Operators in the last six years is also listed for hamonisation.

Confirming the readiness of the Federal Government to hamonise the various biometric data at a post-event interview with The Guardian, the Senior Special Adviser on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Lanre Osibona, said the advancement in digital technology is throwing up so many developments, which if tapped adequately in Nigeria, can put the country ahead.

Osibona said as part of putting up proper structure and ensure the country is adequately protected, government has commenced the process of hamonising all the disparate identity management to ensure “we can identify all the citizens accurately.”

According to him, government has mandated the NIMC to coordinate the hamonisation of the data bases as soon as possible, “within the next few months that should start.”

Osibona reminded that the current administration was determined to develop a digital economy, which aimed to deliver government modernisation; greater value for citizens and businesses; transparency and open government.

The need for the hamonisation was further re-echoed by the Deputy Director, Banking and Payment System, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Musa Itopa-Jimoh, when he said identity management guards against frauds, “as accounts are linked to individuals.”

Itopa-Jimoh confirmed that the BVN was one of the disparate data that will be hamonise by the NIMC.

According to him, the purpose of the BVN is to further check activities of fraudsters in the banking industry and the country as a whole.The CBN chief said the BVN, which is in its third year now, gives a unique identity that can be verified across the Nigerian Banking Industry (not peculiar to one Bank). Customers Bank Accounts are protected from unauthorized access and addresses issues of identity theft, thus reduce exposure to fraud.

He revealed that the BVN is also being used by the Nigeria Police Force to checkmate activities of fraudsters in the country.Jimoh-Itopa disclosed that there will be a general framework on whom and what can access the BVN very soon.

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1 Comment
  • Osanebi Osakuni

    The integration of finger print database programs that were generated from different platforms cannot be achieved within months as the VP expects it to be done. It is commendable that he is desirous of success on positive issues like this unlike the sustained agenda of conquest that Nigerians have been witnessing for almost two years. However, a lot is required to be done to fully tap into the huge potential of diving development programs on biometric platform among others. Most of the institutions that have generated these finger print database haven’t succeeded in running their programs seamlessly. For instance, Nigerians can’t walk into any bank and initiate banking transactions by just tomb printing haven been enrolled into the BVN database so any effort that is made to inface that program with those in telecom sector will naturally fail. This isn’t being cynical, a lot more is required. Kudos to Osibanjo all the sand.