Efforts by the federal government to harmonize biometric data captured by different agencies in the country has received a major boost, as the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has agreed to release the commission’s data from the on-going Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards registration exercise to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Danbatta who made this known while receiving the director general of NIMC, Engr Aliyu Aziz, who paid him a courtesy call yesterday in Abuja, said the decision to release the data is in line with federal government’s instruction to transfer validated data to the agency.
It can, however, be recalled that inter-agency and other stakeholders’ collaboration is a key component of Danbatta’s 8 Point Agenda, which he unveiled in February this year, with a view to moving the industry forward.
“I would like to pledge our commitment to this cooperation between the NIMC and the NCC to ensure that we have a secure, reliable database containing biometric information for all Nigerians, which will definitely augur well for the security of the country among other benefits,” he noted.
“So we are committed to this. We recognize the importance of this cooperation and I would like to stress the need to give it all the seriousness it deserves. I am happy that there’s an MoU and there’s also a federal government’s directive, which would help in facilitating the data transfer,” he added.
Danbatta, however, called for the reinvigorating of the existing inter-agency committee handling the exercise in order to fast-track the piece-meal data transfer to NIMC. In the same vein, Danbatta directed the NCC to ensure that the data transferred to NIMC are fully backed up to avoid any hitches in future.
Responding to a question at the occasion, the NIMC boss who expressed a delight at the cooperation between the two agencies, said that the data transfer from NCC would also improve the on-going National Identification Number (NIN) exercise of the commission. He said NIMC would use the NCC’s data to assign NIM to Nigerians who were captured in the validated data received.