The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said it has issued a total of 41 million Nigerians with their national identity number (NIN).
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Aliyu Aziz, Director-General of NIMC, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
According to Aziz, the NIN has been approved by the Federal Government as the only valid means of identification for government services by law and is a requirement for the application for a new and renewal of an expired Nigerian passport, among others.
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He noted that enrolment was ongoing for Nigerians in the Diaspora in 15 countries.
He said: “As of today, we have reached record 41 million by sheer determination and hard work. I owe all of this to the great staff of the NIMC who pushed themselves beyond their limits to see this happen.
“Diaspora enrolment was greatly received by the Nigerians in other countries and it has been going well since the launch. Enrolment is happening in over 15 countries across the world, with more countries to come on board in the near future.”
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Aziz explained that the commission is facing challenges slowing down the rate of enrolment, such as inadequate electricity, Information Technology infrastructure, inadequate enrolment centres and devices and insufficient sensitisation and awareness of the public, among others.
The NIMC boss said the plans to implement the strategic road map to accelerate digital identity in the country in June 2020 had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the project will now commence either in September or December this year.
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He stated the $433 million the NIMC secured from the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development and the European Union will be used for the expansion of enrolment centres to 4,000.
“The funding covers digital ID enrolment, issuance and usage; strengthening of the enabling law, security, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity mechanisms; as well as strengthening the IT and other backend infrastructure.
“There is still a need for funding on the card aspect of the programme as well as on the other regulatory functions of the commission. We are consulting with the Federal Government on these aspects,” Aziz said.