#Editorial

FG’s Harmonized ID Card

NIGERIA faces a major challenge in meeting the United Nation’s target of providing legal identity for its citizens by 2030 due to the multiplicity of registrations of same persons by different bodies. This is prone to corruption and fraud. It includes those done by the National Population Commission, banks, employers and others. Data of individuals on these portals appear the same which makes it a duplication of efforts to start registration with these bodiesall over.An important item on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations demands that nations provide legal identity for all including birth registration by the year 2030.

VITAL registration is a necessity for national development as no nation can develop without human statistics which vital registration provides. These include a functional register of births, deaths, migration and residency. On these, Nigeria lags far behind. Nigeria has, over the years, been experimenting with vital registration with minimal success until recently. A national identity card system was initially conceived in 1977 but the project did not see the light of the day. A new scheme managed by the Directorate of National Civic Registration (DNCR) was initiated in 2003 and about 54 million Nigerians were registered. The scheme, however, failed to meet official expectations due to allegations of corruption. Consequently, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) came into effect in 2010 and subsequently entered into an agreement with the National Database and Registration Authority of Pakistan and two other consortium to develop computerized national identity cards for Nigerians.

IN spite of the above, Nigerians are still subject to multiple registrations as the National Identification Number (NIN) provided by NIMC is only required by corporate bodies to verify a person’s identity while fresh data is still being taken from the person for registration purposes. To address this, the National Identity Management Commission recently announced a launch of a multipurpose card that has multiple use values such as payments/financial, government intervention/services, travel, etc.

Related News  The Erinje N8.1b Power Project

THE  NIMC had earlier announced it was planning three new national identity cards which include a bank-enabled national identity card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.In a swift turn, the commission later revealed that the new national identity card is a single, multipurpose card and not three separate cards.The commission disclosed that it had collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System to launch a new card with payment functionality for all types of social and financial services.

EXPERTS  have argued that the new idea was a duplication of efforts and a waste of resources adding that the purpose of the new cards was currently being fulfilled by existing platforms.

ACCORDING to them, Nigerians already have the NIN and the BVN and all the features of the new card can be used via the current cards such as driver’s licenses, international passports, permanent voter cards, and the like.Others opine that Nigeria does not have the technological capacity to effectively implement the new scheme which requires an expansive database adding that our cyber framework is not solid enough to accommodate this unless some strategic moves are made.

IN spite of the above, The Hope believes the current registration which is permanent and centralized is a welcome development in line with global best practices. Just like the existing one, the identity card with its security pin number known as National Identification Number (NIN), is customized to the holder and it can be used to trace the real identity of the holder including his vital records. If the Federal Government policy on the compulsory registration which came to effect from January 1, 2019 is fully implemented, no one can transact any business with government without the unique national identity card number. Also, children would not be allowed to register in any school in Nigeria whether public or private without enrolling and obtaining the unique identity card number or their parents doing so.

Related News  FG’s U-Turn on Cyber Security Levy

HOWEVER, the cumbersome nature of the process of registration is worrisome. Nigerians complain about the inability of the National Identity Management Commission officials to collect and process individual’s data which include bio data, photographs and finger prints at a relatively short period. To address this, government should encourage e-registration and put facilities in place to support this. Whatever the cost in terms of time and resources, the gains will be worth it as Nigeria needs to step up in terms of vital registration.

Share
FG’s Harmonized ID Card

Dangers of fake loan apps

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *