2019 General Elections: FG Seeking To Use National ID Card

The Federal Government has directed the Nation­al Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ena­ble the National Identification Number (NIN) identify eligible voters in future elections.

The Vice President , Yemi Osinbajo gave the charge to NIMC at the Policy Roundtable Meeting on Identity Manage­ment at the State House Con­ference Center, Abuja.

Osinbajo who was repre­sented by the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) to the Presi­dent, Ade Ipaye, said “the fiscal cost of implementing disparate and unconnected biometrics linked data bases is increasing­ly becoming a huge burden and needs to be streamlined going forward, as government cannot continue to fund the unneces­sary duplication of efforts and overlapping identity functions that further deplete it’s scarce resources.

“Clearly, there are poten­tially large benefits from inte­gration of the ID programmes of our government institutions. And we must take this advan­tage to get it right once and for all.

“As we endeavour to resolve the identity management sys­tem challenges, we will also en­sure that other forms of identi­fication such as Driver’s licence, international passports and so on are aligned and in sinc.

“The President has already taken the initiative in recog­nising the importance of iden­tity and a harmonized system. That is why there was a direc­tive from my office in Decem­ber of 2015 for all stakeholders to have built independent iden­tity management systems.

“Stakeholders could have built independent identity man­agement system to consolidate, aggregate and integrate their data bases as a way to accelerate and scale up the national identi­ty system so as to offer every Ni­gerian a unique identifier.

“I am aware that a lot of work has been done in this re­gard by all the stakeholders represented here. However, it is his Excellency the president’s charge that the national identi­fication number is used to au­thenticate eligible voters in the nearest future as well as in the areas of access to health, insur­ance, registration of sim cards, access to the social welfare pro­grammes of this administra­tion and for all financial trans­actions.”

However, the National Iden­tity Management Commission (NIMC) had declared that this could be done within 24 months if only it raised sufficient funds of up to N5 billion from relevant agencies like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigerian Communica­tions Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

It would also need Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) from banks.

Minister of Communica­tions, Adebayo Shittu, noted that Nigeria was lagging behind with regards to population ex­posure and level of civilization, lamenting that one year his reg­istration, he was yet to collect his national ID from NIMC.

He therefore urged NIMC to set timeline to harmonise identity management in the country, and must be in the van­guard of pushing for legislation for identity management.


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