The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been given up to December 31, 2014 to ensure that all eligible Nigerians are registered for the National Identification Number (NIN).
The directive was given by President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday directed when he formally launched the enrolment exercise for the issuance of the NIN at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the president, the National Identification Number will go a long way to make the work of security agencies in the country easier, reduce the cost of managing the naira cash component in the country, reduce the amount of currency in circulation and boost the fight against corruption.
He also stressed that it will be essential if Nigeria is to introduce social security or welfare payments, as the system is flexible and provides for expansion and upgrading in line with technological advances.
Mr. Jonathan remarked that as the world inches towards Identity Management and Centralized National Identity Database, Nigeria cannot be left behind just as he explained that there is already a growing quest for specific databases and identity verification by several government institutions and private sector organizations in the country.
“The growing identity verification needs therefore calls for harmonization and integration of identity databases and the development of a universal service infrastructure”, he said adding that “To achieve this goal, the National Identity Management Commission should ensure that by December 31, 2014 all persons eligible for registration as provided for in Section 16 of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act No. 23, of 2007 are enrolled into the National Identity Database.”
“By this same date, all government agencies requiring identity verification and authentication services or involved in data capture activities must align their activities with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.”
Speaking on the benefits of the registration, Mr. Jonathan said: “If the work of law enforcement officers is to be enhanced; if consumer credit is to be accessible; if we are to reduce the cost of managing the naira cash component currently estimated at N192 billion per annum; if we are to reduce the amount of currency in circulation currently put at N1.93 trillion; if we are to achieve a multiple pronged approach to the fight against corruption; and finally, if we are to introduce social security or welfare payments, then we must, first and foremost, establish and verify appropriately, the identities of individuals.”