Posted on April 25, 2018
The Federal Government had a target of increasing the identity database of Nigerians from 28 million to 70 million, President Muhammadu Buhari, announced on Tuesday.
According to Buhari, the harmonisation of identity schemes in the country by the National Identity Management Commission had led to a significant increase in the database of citizens across the country, adding that the government had a target of growing the figure to 70 million by December 2019.
The President, who stated this as he declared opened the 4th International Annual Meeting of the ID4Africa 2018 Movement in Abuja, stressed the importance of the confidentiality of data inherent in the identity management system.
He said, “Through the process of harmonisation of identity schemes in Nigeria, the NIMC grew the database from seven million to 14 million by 2016, and from 14 million to 28 million in 2017. Our target is to grow the database to 50 million by December 2018 and subsequently 70 million by December 2019.
“The importance of the confidentiality of data inherent in the identity management system cannot be overemphasised. We must therefore ensure absolute integrity and security of this information. As a nation of over 180 million people, it is important that we develop an integrated and connected system to ascertain that an individual is truly who he claims to be.”
The President’s speech was read at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Buhari told participants at the conference that the Federal Government had recognised the need to have a single identification number system for Nigerian citizens.
He said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has long recognised the need to have a single national identity system for all citizens in order to carry out its mandate in social and economic development, law enforcement, intelligence and political development.
“In 2017, the Federal Government of Nigeria issued the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan as its overall strategy to drive the country’s economic development. As part of the ERGP, the government plans to deliver key services, including safety nets, agriculture development, food security, energy, transport and enterprise development, while strengthening the macro fiscal environment, investing in people and developing a local digital economy,” he added.
In his address, the Executive Chairman, ID4Africa, Joseph Atick, said Nigeria had made remarkable progress in its identity programme than many other African countries.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service on Tuesday said it had the database of all the elite across the country.
According to the NIS, the database showed that the elite were below 10 per cent of the country’s entire population.
The Comptroller-General, NIS, Mohammed Babandede, stated this at the ID4Africa 2018 Movement’s meeting being hosted by the Federal Government through the National Identity Management Commission.
Babandede said, “The immigration service is a key government agency responsible for identity. The major identity we hold is the Nigerian passport. I’ll like to say that even though we have only 10 million identities of Nigerians in our database, which represent less than 10 per cent of the Nigerian population, I’m glad to tell you that this population is unique.
“It is the population of all the elite. It includes the politicians, businessmen and military officers; all the elite of Nigeria we have their database. So, even though we have a small population, we have a significant database.”
In his address, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi, stated that the organistion was working with the NIMC and would ensure the full integration of its biometric database with that of the commission from July this year.