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National ID Card: Jonathan Tasks Commission To Promptly Capture Every Sector


By Ayo Balogun

The National Electronic Identity Card Commission has been tasked to immediately complement the efforts of the Pension Department, by ensuring issuance of e – ID cuts across every socio – economic sector of the economy without delay.

NIMC 4President Goodluck Jonathan gave the marching order Thursday in his address the the formal launch of the Issuance Process for the National Electronic Identity Card (E-Id Card) at the State House, Abuja.

Jonathan who expressed delight over the success of the scheme called on the commission to fasten action so as to ensure the Federal Civil Servants and Pensioners were enrolled and issued their Cards promptly. This he disclosed was to ensure the e-ID and the secure payment platform could facilitate prompt and safe payment of salaries and pensions.

Besides, the Commission, the President directed should make sure all registrable persons as provided for in Section 16 of the constitution were enrolled into the National Identity Database as well as all Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) were involved in data capture activities, align their activities, with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.

“We must at the onset keep in mind that the journey to capture the populace, by issuing over 100 million Cards has just begun. You should therefore ensure that the issuance process is prompt and swift enough to enable many more Nigerians obtain their own e-ID Cards, as soon as possible.

“The identity authentication and verification services that are in pilot phase, as demonstrated, should immediately be further extended to other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). It should also be made available at the Airports and other border posts, for enhanced security checks”, Mr. President said.

He revealed that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, would oversee the funding requirements for the project as budgeted.

Following the launch, Mr. President ordered the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to maintain immediate compliance, noting that the regime of duplication of Biometric data bases must now give way to harmonization and unification with the e-ID scheme, which he added should be the primary data base.

Similarly, President Jonathan demanded the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the the Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, to in conjunction with the Commission, work out modalities for the harmonization of their biometric projects, including “other ongoing projects in other MDAs, with the e-ID card scheme”.

The President who observed the proliferation and duplication of efforts was not cost effective, nor security-smart, he asserted that it was important to remove obstacles that might impede the NIMC from discharging its constitutional functions and statutory obligations, urging it to focus on ensuring its remaining two components, including Identity Authentication and Verification and the Alignment, in particular, Switching over by the MDAs were rolled without fail.

He also tasked that the logistics and speed of data collection must be improved, while expressing hope that harmonization exercise would help in this regard especially, the Commission ensuring MDAs aligning their existing infrastructure, as data collection agents to the NIMC System.

Social benefits of e –ID Cards Mr. President stated include issuance and re – issuance with ‘proof of identity’and clarity around all forms of transactions and relationships, while issues “around identity- related theft and other such criminal vices and activities that are inimical to our national interests would be better addressed more efficiently”.

Recalling last year, the launch of the enrollment exercise for the National Identity Number (NIN), President Jonathan stated he had then called on the private sector to invest promptly in this project, therefore called on the Board of NIMC to act decisively to increase “investor confidence, in a very professional way, so that the various opportunities can be rapidly identified and exploited for the good of our economy”.


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