The National Identity Management Commission says it has enrolled and issued 41 million Nigerians with National Identity Number as of today.
The Director-General at the NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, in an interview with journalists, said enrolment was ongoing for Nigerians in the Diaspora in 15 other countries.
According to him, the NIN has been approved by the Federal Government as the only valid means of identification for government services by law and is a requirement for the application for a new and renewal of an expired Nigerian passport, among others.
Highlighting challenges slowing down the rate of enrolment, he said inadequate electricity, Information Technology infrastructure, inadequate enrolment centres and devices and insufficient sensitisation and awareness of the public, among others, still persisted.
According to him, the challenges are being addressed in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders, government and with the help of the media.
“As of today, we have reached record 41 million by sheer determination and hard work. I owe all of this to the great staff of the NIMC who pushed themselves beyond their limits to see this happen,” he said.
“Diaspora enrolment was greatly received by the Nigerians in other countries and it has been going well since the launch. Enrolment is happening in over 15 countries across the world, with more countries to come on board in the near future.”
He said the plans to implement the strategic road map for accelerating digital identity in the country in June 2020 had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the project will either begin in September or December this year.
Aziz said the $433m it secured from the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development and the European Union would be used for the expansion of enrolment centres to 4,000.
“The funding covers digital ID enrolment, issuance and usage; strengthening of the enabling law, security, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity mechanisms; as well as strengthening the IT and other backend infrastructure,” the NIMC boss stated.
He added, “There is still a need for funding on the card aspect of the programme as well as on the other regulatory functions of the commission. We are consulting with the Federal Government on these aspects.”
Aziz explained that the commission was working on strategies to scale up card production and issuance in partnership with the private sector.
However, he said NIN was sufficient to prove or assert the identity of Nigerians anytime, anywhere.