President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, launched some innovations for easy and effective enrolment for the National Identification Number (NIN) by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
President Buhari performed this launching during the celebration of the National Identity Day with the theme ‘Identity, a tool for the sustainable digital economy and national security, at the Banquet Hall, Aso Villa.
The technologies launched by the President include NIMC MobileID App, Tokenization and Contactless Enrolment Solution.
Launching these technologies, President Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technology, Isa Pantami, commended NIMC for the successes recorded so far in the NIN enrolment.
He, however, expressed his commitment to support NIMC in ensuring that more Nigerians were enrolled which he said would enhance the digital economy.
In his address, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, said with an efficient, secure and reliable National Identity Infrastructure, Nigerians can be empowered to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably, thereby driving social inclusion.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bitrus Nabasu, said the country’s enthusiasm to build a local digital economy, curb widespread economic and social exclusion is hinged on the necessity to assign every Nigerian and legal resident with a unique identity.
Explaining the three technologies, the Minister said “as part of our efforts to make it easy for citizens to link their NIN to their phone numbers, we developed a mobile app that allows users to do so without having to physically visit any telecom company.
“It also enables users to download the improved NIN slips and use mobile IDs as a valid and secure means of identification.
“The tokenization solution is in line with the efforts of the federal government to enhance Data Privacy and Data Security of citizens and legal residents. It prevents verifiers and third parties from storing the raw NIN of users.
“Rather, it provides a time-bound virtual NIN that is specific to the verifying entities. We will transition from the current raw NIN verification approach to one that uses tokenised virtual NINs, in line with the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.
“Furthermore, to circumvent the challenges that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a contactless Android biometric enrolment system that enables Nigerians and legal residents to obtain NINs after providing their biometrics through a process that is swift and contactless. It will also support us in enrolling users that are in remote areas and where there are power and networking constraints.
He said identity management has evolved across the globe and the ability to prove one’s identity with the NIN is critical for Nigerians to participate in economic, social, and political life.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NIMC, Engr Aliyu Aziz said the commission engaged over 200 private and public partner organizations for data capture services with over 8000 registration centres nationwide.
He said these partners have captured and generated over 20 million NIN in the past nine months resulting in over 63 million unique NINs in the National Identity Database.
He noted that NIMC developed and launched several policies to enforce the mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) which are “the Bank Verification Number harmonization with NIN, mandatory use of NIN for passport application and renewal.
Others are implementation of the ecosystem approach to enrolment, national ID Policy for SIM Card Registration, national Policy on Digital ID for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria, use of NIN for Jamb Examination Registration and Sitting amongst others.
The Acting Chairman NIMC Governing Board, Mallam Ibrahim Gwandu said in the digital world, data is the most valuable currency, and identity infrastructure are the means by which personal data are safeguarded in today’s ever-evolving online culture.
“This reality cannot be overemphasised. It is my hope that this event today would help deepen our understanding of the dynamics of digital identification so that we would all become active ambassadors of its tremendous benefits, especially in two key areas as reflected in our theme – Sustainable Digital Economy & National Security,” he added.
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