About 100 million Nigerians are without official identity, less than 35 per cent of births are registered, less than five per cent have drivers licence while less than five per cent have international passports according to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The Director-General of the commission, Dr. Chris Onyemenam disclosed this at the 4th edition of the West Africa Information Communications Technology Congress (Wafict) in Lagos last week.
He said this led to the Federal Government establishing the Commission in order to have a next generation smartcard national identity database of all persons in the country for economic development.
Reeling out the statistics, the Onyemenam who was represented by Emmanuel Ogungbe, Deputy Director, IT & Head PMO, NIMC, said 75 per cent of identity documents are fake and self issued, noting that there was no timely means of authenticating the documents.]
He maintained that less than 20 per cent of population has access to financial services while actual total bank cards are less than 10 per cent of the population.
Onyemenam said that the commission would register and issue a National Identity Number (NIN) and National Smart Card to every Nigerian from 16 years and above, adding that plans were underway to register over 150 million Nigerians within 40 months.
“Through the mandate, we will enable individuals to prove their identity in a dependable manner by providing on-line and off-line cost effective verification and authentication infrastructure. We will ensure the new identity card is integrated with the existing ID schemes.
provide standardised identity attributes and foster the orderly development of an identity sector,” he said.
The NIMC boss stated that “The proposed national database is made up of three main components; enrolment, mobile, temporary and permanent enrolment centres across the country. The commission will use standards for biometrics and bio-data captures in its operation,” he said.
Onyemenam recently disclosed to LEARDERSHIP that the Commission would soon commence enrolment of Nigerians in various locations in different parts of the states. “The plan is to make sure that before the end of the year; we are up and running in all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory and in some other local government offices. We have offices in all 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
“We want to be present in all of these locations and we are not doing it alone. We have private sectors partners. We have our concessionaires to make these happen. When it is necessary and important to support the private sector roll-out, we would roll out because government is particular in ensuring that the project rolls out and as it takes off in such a way that by December 2013, all the people in the government agencies and the private sector would have had some reasonable database to work with,” he added.