NIMC Set To Make e-ID Cards Available To Registered Nigerians
Engineer Aliyu Aziz, NIMC’s director general and chief executive officer, during a recent media briefing said that the commission is working to ensure every registered Nigerian with National Identity card number receives the electronic identity cards, and that it has set set up machinery to renew cards about to expire.
He however, said the Commission is not overlooking demands for card replacement or renewal due to losses, expiration or change of names. According to him, the commission has enrolled only 18.5 million Nigerians into the national identity database, out of the over 170 million Nigerian population, which he said, is less that 10 per cent of the entire population of Nigerians.
Engr. Aziz disclosed that the commission had produced 1.2 million cards, but explained that not all the 1.2 million cards have been issued. “First issuance of the e-ID card is free. The Federal Government understands the importance of this card to every citizen. But, due to recession, the cases of card lost and expiration will cost a token for replacement or renewal.
“Other countries around us pay for this card right from the first time of issuance. But, the Nigerian Government thought it wise to issue it free. Now, if we calculate the card cost, it is more than N2000.
“It is possible to have a model where government subsidies the replacement fee. However, we know how subsidies have been mismanaged in the past. It is also possible that high and mighty in the society will pay a token while the poor people, especially the rural dwellers, should get subsidy. So, there should be soft landing for card replacement. We are working on it and shall in due course inform the public how to replace your card due to loss, or change of name.
“Data has become ubiquitous in the 21st Century; it powers the information technology which in itself has become more pronounced than the oil sector. At NIMC, the idea is to build a workable system and maintain it moving system.
“We are looking forward to data capturing right from birth, because that is when proper data generation starts. Even embassies are asking for the NIN, therefore, the child needs it. So, by the time we license other relevant authorities, it is possible for people to get their NIN at the immigration office, at FRSC, or wherever government provides services. Therefore, it will be ubiquitous; it is at that point we can capture all Nigerians.
“We are remodeling to the Indian system where they have successfully captured about 1.2billion citizens. Meanwhile, we started before them; they copied some of the processes before us. They do not even give the NIN slip because a lot of resources would have gone into paper provisioning. They only give you secured online access then you remotely print the slip. On our part, we are moving towards 200million people. It will be such a huge cost.
The DG/CEO of NIMC also said that Nigerians yet to register should visit any of the 809 centers as “NIN would enable citizens to exercise their rights and facilitate management of issues like subsidies and safety net payments as applicable to internally displaced persons.
Reeling out the many benefits of the NIN, Aziz said they included one person one identity, enhances participation in the political process, important tool for fight against corruption and terrorism, enables citizens to exercise their rights and facilitates management of subsidies and safety net.
Other benefits are the facilitation of service delivery in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); enhancing activities of law enforcement agencies thereby providing public safety; policing; national security and border protection, among others all focused at benefiting and protecting the Nigeria citizens.