Jonathan Issues Identity Commission Deadline to Enrol Eligible Nigerians



President-Goodluck-jonathan 600President Goodluck Jonathan tasked the National Identity Management Commission to ensure that by December 31,2014,all persons eligible are enrolled into the national database.Jonathan while launching the enrolment exercise for the issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN) today said “To achieve this goal, the National Identity Management Commission should ensure that by December 31, 2014 all persons eligible for registration as provided for in Section 16 of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act No. 23, of 2007 are enrolled into the National Identity Database. By this same date, all government agencies requiring identity verification and authentication services or involved in data capture activities must align their activities with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.

He added that “ The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance must ensure that these objectives, which are aimed at streamlining biometrically-linked databases and optimizing scarce resources, are accomplished record time.

The president said “While Government remains committed to the accelerated development of the National Identity Management System (NIMS), the private sector must also rise up to its role. Corporate operators must seize the unique opportunities provided by the Concession Agreement, to make investments in the Scheme.

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Remarks by

His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
At the
Formal Launch of the Enrolment Exercise for the Issuance of the
National Identification Number (NIN)
State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja
17th October, 2013

PROTOCOLS

1. Today, effort and commitment to for a greater Nigeria brought us here for the launch of an Enrolment Exercise for the Issuance of a National Identification Number (NIN). The importance of ‘PROOF OF IDENTITY’ documentation as a critical social infrastructure for national development cannot be over-emphasised.

2. Unfortunately, valuable time and resources expended in the past, at delivering an effective identity platform have been met with limited success. As we recalibrate efforts, we must avoid the pitfalls of the past, and stay focused achieving results. This explains why I had set up a Committee chaired by the Vice President, to fashion the modalities required to institute a central demographic database.

3. The Committee recommended that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the National Population Commission (NPC), despite their separate obligations, more closely, to complement each other and help deliver urgently a comprehensive centralized national database.

4. The video we have just seen is a commendable proof that this harmonization and integration programme is in progress.

5. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria cannot be an exception to the global trend towards Identity Management and Centralised National Identity Database. Already, there is a growing quest for specific databases and identity verification by several government institutions and private sector organizations in country.

6. Aside from being unwieldy, the cost of multiple discordant databases and infrastructure is unsustainable. Government cannot afford the continued proliferation of data capture activities. The proliferation does not grant any advantage in efficiency, neither does it
make good economic sense.

7. The growing identity verification needs, therefore for harmonization and integration of identity databases and the development of a universal service infrastructure.

8. To achieve this goal, the National Identity Management Commission should ensure that by December 31, 2014 all persons eligible for registration as provided for in Section 16 of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act No. 23, of 2007 are enrolled into the National Identity Database. By this same date, all government agencies requiring identity verification and authentication services or involved in data capture activities must align their activities with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.

9. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance must ensure that these objectives, which are aimed at streamlining biometrically-linked databases and optimizing scarce resources, are accomplished record time.

10. While Government remains committed to the accelerated development of the National Identity Management System (NIMS), the private sector must also rise up to its role. Corporate operators must seize the unique opportunities provided by the Concession Agreement, to make investments in the Scheme.

11. Private sector participation would mean extended optimization of resources typically devoted to addressing issues of PROOF OF IDENTITY across the nation. It would also mean seamless integration and use of a common for identity verification and authentication, in both the public and private sectors.

12. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, if the of law officers is to be enhanced; if consumer credit is to be accessible; if we are to reduce the cost of managing the Naira cash component currently estimated at N192bn per annum; if we are to reduce the
amount of currency in circulation currently put at N1.93tn; if we are to achieve a multiple pronged approach to the fight against corruption; and finally, if we are to introduce social security or welfare payments, then we must, first and foremost, establish and verify appropriately, the identities of individuals.

13. An ascendable and flexible system that provides for expansion and upgrading in line with technological advances, is a necessary infrastructure that we must be equipped with, to meet our contemporary goals in building our Nation.

14. The Management of NIMC must now drive this important project with all the seriousness it deserves. We must move deftly to discount time lost so far, for failure is not an option.

15. I am aware of the challenges facing the Commission, especially in recent times, not least from public cynicism and unfavourable perception of the identity sector, stemming from the wasted efforts of the past.
16. Today’s exercise unmistakably avows Government’s intention and reinforced determination to conclude all reforms in this sector by December 31, 2014.

17. I believe that the Chairman of the Governing Board and the Management understand that today underlines a new orientation and the process must be in timely tempo. If the slogan – ‘ENROL ONCE AND BE IDENTIFIED FOR LIFE’ is to be achieved, the process and progress must remain irreversible.

18. I commend the Management and Staff of NIMC, for the articulation of this catch-phrase. I also commend you for clarifying the differences between the National Identification Number (NIN) and the National Identity Card, a multipurpose Card.

19. Even though both card and number are important components of the National Identity Management System (NIMS) it is important that there’s continued education about their varied applications.

20. I look forward to the scheduled formal launch/presentation of the National Identity Smart Card. I believe that the assets and experience of this exercise will advance the work of the National Population Commission, especially in its planned biometric Census which is scheduled for 2016.

21. Ladies and gentlemen, on this note, it is my honour and privilege to formally launch the enrolment exercise for the issuance of the NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER – remember that “THE NUMBER IS YOUR IDENTITY, ENROL ONCE AND BE IDENTIFIED FOR LIFE.”
22. I thank you.

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