The National Database Harmonization Committee has proposed three years for the capture of 180 million Nigerians and other residents in the National Identification card scheme.The issuance of the National Identity Cards which started several years ago had been slowed down due to multiplicity of data collection points but the harmonization committee had tried to achieve a one-stop centre.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT, Mr Lanre Osibona, told state House correspondents after the committee’s meeting on Tuesday that the national identification registration had moved from five million in 2015 to about 20 million in 2017.“It is good to also share with you that when we came in about two years ago there were five million records of NIMC but today we have moved it close to 20 million and we intend to have up to 30 million by the end of this year.“We are working with the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to have a proper approach on how we will be able to capture over 180 million Nigerians over a three year period,’’ he stated.
The presidential aide stated that it was important to note the effort of government toward achieving a digital economy as being midwifed by the National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA).“”What we have also captured in here is the Public Key Infrastructure which will sit within NITDA.“An intention of this is to allow for digital signing of key documents being able to authenticate our document digitally.“”Again this helps meet the effort of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Committee (PEBEC) on the ease of doing business.’’
According to him, the federal government expected to see the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to be able to issue certificates digitally.He said the same applied to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as well as tax clearance.““So the resolution, as part of the meeting here, is that this will be driven by NITDA,’’ he said.He said that the committee’s meeting was fruitful in terms of national identity which it considered was a great asset for the country adding that so much work had been going on with respect to harmonizing all the data bases.He said the country was eventually making progress noting that the benefits of national identity were immense and applied to security, innovation, social inclusion as well as financial inclusion.
Osibona observed that Nigerians were concerned about poor data collection adding that the harmonization of the existing data would facilitate budget forecasting and better planning.He gave the assurance that the committee was determined to ensure that it delivered full concise database for all Nigerians.
Expatiating further, the Comptroller-General of Immigrations, Mr Mohammed Babadede, said data hamonisation was the responsibility of all.“”The bulk lies on our entire table. It is the harmonization of data and requires all of us to act but the biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying his own technology.“”There is a practical commitment to this; we have agreed that from Jan. 1, 2018 anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian Passport, whether renewal or fresh, must first have a NIMC number.
“Why we are doing this is we want to ease business for Nigeria.“There is no need for you to go and have your bio metric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigrations.“Once you give us your NIMC number we will collect the bio metric from NIMC and produce your passport,’’ the Immigration boss added.He said the harmonization objective was the intention of all other agencies.Babadede said he had issued a directive that any foreigner, resident in Nigeria would not get his permit renewed unless he provided an NIMC number.
“To achieve this, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonised and we are committed to allow NIMC in Immigration.“All NIMC staff can work in our passport office so when you come to get the passport you can also get the National identity card.“The NIMC has also allowed immigration staff to work in their offices so anybody who is coming to claim Nigerian citizenship they will help to identify that citizen.
“That is the cooperation that we have had so far,’’ he said.The NIS chief clarified that identification number was not for collecting tax certificate before being issued a passport.“We are not talking of tax, we are talking of e- government, and we want to have one e-government.
“What government is saying is that when you want to collect any facility from any government agency, you don’t need to look for the document from any other government agency.“We should be able to access it, we should be able to know whether you have paid your tax or not.“If you are coming through the airport and you want to leave Nigeria we should be able to know that this person has not paid his tax and you should be able to pay your tax before you depart.
“We are looking at one e-government and it is possible,’’ he explained.
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