FG Plans 70m Digital Data Base Growth By 2019
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja, disclosed plans to grow the country’s digital database to 70 million in 2019.
He made the disclosure at a conference organised by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in collaboration with ID4Africa Movement.
The theme of the conference was: “Harmonisation of identity schemes and its response to current demand.”
The president also attributed the current wanton killings of farmers in the country to trans-human activities.
He added that if the issue of harmonised identity was not taken seriously, the level of insecurity in the country might get worse with time.
He described identity as an easy tool for governance.
The president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, commended the organisers for their efforts to ensure that every African has an identity.
Buhari said the event was coming at a time when the whole world was working towards globalising digital identity.
He stressed that the measure would improve the level of insecurity on the continent and beyond.
According to him, the Federal Government had been able to raise it’s data base from 7 million in 2014 to 14 million, and 28 million in 2017, while the figure would rise to 50 million in 2019.
The president described identity as the nucleus of a people’s existence, and the safeguarding of lives.
He urged the organisers to make digital identity a global issue that must be addressed.
Chairman of the ID4Africa Movement, Dr. Joseph Azek commended Nigeria for her efforts to harmonise identity programmes.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Abdulharaman Danbazzau stressed importance of digital identity in Nigeria as he said, “identity is everything, identity is security, without identity it is impossible to know who belongs where”
Danbazzau stated that the conference was of high significance, not only for the intention to harmonise identity in the whole Africa but the need to digitalized the identity and promised the support of his ministry to identity management in Nigeria.
On his part, the Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede said immigration is a key government agency responsible for identity management and the major identity it hold is that of Nigerian passport which account for 10 million identities in its data base which is unique, hence it cut across all the elites.
“Based on the directives of Mr. President, we have linked with NIMC that is why this year you have to fill your National Identification Number as you get your passport. We also provide offices for NIMC anywhere we are operating and we invite NIMC to join us in our foreign missions. We are working to harmonise all identities at the airport with NIMC”, he stated.
Earlier in a welcome address, Chairman of the Governing Board, NIMC, Olagunsoye Oyinlola observed that despite challenges, there is a renewed determination to leverage on the enormous opportunities such as public/private partnership synergy to turn the identity management sector in Nigeria, while Aliyu Aziz, NIMC Director General, thanked ID4Africa, the Federal Government, local and international partners for their support.