From Comfort Yakub, Abuja

The Federal Government has stated that unique identification will be provided for every individual physically residing in Nigeria and Nigerians in the diaspora in the next five years.

Director-General of National, Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Aliyu Aziz made this known at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Identity for Africa (ID4Africa) Movement holding in Johannesburg.

He told delegates who were over 1,500 in number at the 2019 ID4Africa meeting that Nigeria is executing a digital identity ecosystem project endorsed in September 2018 by the Federal Executive Council in realisation of the demands to function in the digital economy for sustainable growth.

In his words, “the ecosystem approach of enrolment will constitute trusted partners, and a pay-per-play model for successful enrolments. The purpose of the ecosystem approach is to leverage existing capabilities and enrolment facilities of government agencies, partners and private sector operators in Nigeria, as op
some of the stakeholders and partners in the ecosystem approach include the National Population Commission, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Health Insurance Scheme, National Independent Electoral Commission and the Federal Road Safety Commission.

Aziz. explained that on January 1, 2019 government began the mandatory enforcement of the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) for application and issuance of passport, registration of voters, opening of bank accounts, all consumer credit transactions, purchase of insurance policies, transactions with social security implications, all land related transactions, transactions specified under the contributory health insurance scheme, payment of taxes, transactions pertaining to pension, admission into schools and all other relevant government services.

He added that there was no option for Nigeria than to embrace and implement digital identity as all modern economic services are done digitally and rely on good identification in order to promote economic growth and opportunities.

Aziz said the benefits of the digital identity ecosystem approach include; to scale up enrolment, extend coverage nationwide, reduce cost in data collection, speed-up delivery, provide digital verification of ID anytime and anywhere in Nigeria.

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