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NIMC urges African Governments to promote digital identity



Aliyu Aziz
DG of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz
The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Director-General, Aliyu Aziz has called on African countries to be inventive and in particular, take digital identity critically in order to steer the consequential impacts and disturbance which the deadly disease is throwing up.

The DG made the call in his remarks during a three-day Africa Tech Leaders Webinar series on Coronavirus organized by Digital Jewels Limited.

He said the deadly disease brought unforeseen dilemma to the whole world, disturbing all plans and projections.

While discussing public sector outlook on the Coronavirus deadly disease, Aziz stressed that the deadly disease offered a chance for the Nigerian and African public sector to embrace technology and make fast decisions to produce change to go with the present actuality.

He said on the fielding questions on the huge difference in technology acceptance between the private and public sectors in Nigeria, the public sector has not quite accepted technology, while stressing the need for change in management.

According to him, “The slow adoption can be attributed to factors such as problem definition, policy formulation, political will, the disparity in remuneration, population size, and too many cooks.”

He opened up on what the Commission is doing to level up on the National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment.

Aziz said NIMC currently has 42 million exceptional records in the National Identity Database (NIDB) and has the authorization of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to enroll all Nigerians and foreign legal residents in the next three to five years through the ecosystem approach, with the funding of $433 million from the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Développement (AfD), and the European Union.

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He said why the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and not National Identification Number (NIN) was used for the administration of the Coronavirus palliatives is because if you’re doing anything about payments you can go through BVN.

But NIN is the foundational Identity. While BVN and the NIN also follows the same standard.

“When there’s a pandemic, the government can readily use what’s available. There is an ongoing harmonisation of BVN with NIN, out of which 14 million has been processed.”

Aziz added that the Commission accepted the global best practices in data management.

The NIMC Director-General stressed that the NIMC ISO certification in 2014, and recent recertification in 2020 is an authentication of the Commission’s nonstop efforts at defending its data.

Adding that the process of capturing and storing the data is secured and there are data protection guidelines and a data protection Bill in the National Assembly awaiting passage.

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