In what many Nigerians have described as unnecessary multiplicity of data collection to favour some rackets, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed government agencies to harmonise the collection and usage of biometric data instead of replicating efforts.
Speaking after being briefed by Chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, in Abuja, Buhari wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data, when such data could easily be shared.
“It will be more cost effective if you work together. It helps even the credibility of the election process, as Nigerians of voting age can be identified easily,” he said.
Until now, government organizations that collect biometric data; the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission, and Independent National Electoral Commission, among others, have all ran the process of data collection separately.
However, President Buhari said that all the agencies should work collaboratively, instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country.
Duruiheoma had briefed the President on what would be required for the commission to conduct national census 2016, 10 years after the last exercise, as stipulated by the United Nations. He told the president that a national population census would cost about N273 billion, while about N10 billion of the amount would be needed immediately.
The NPC chairman said that a biometric-based census was being proposed because it would eliminate multiple and ghost respondents, while making the outcome easy to audit.