Yesterday, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) shed more light on the licensing of 203 National Identity Number (NIN) agents in the public and private sectors to register people saying that with the decentralization of the process, 200 million Nigerians would be registered within five years.
It said the exercise, which raised the number of nationwide registration centers from 1,000 to 10,000, is intended to ease the delays in capturing more Nigerians on the national identity database.
The Commission clarified that sufficient preparations have been made over the next five years to collect the data of 200 million Nigerians.
It also alleviated concerns about the two-week deadline for deactivating SIM (Subscribers Identity Module) cards that are not affiliated with the NIN of users.
It added that the measures taken so far to ensure that all subscribers have NIN on their SIM cards are intended to tackle the country’s security challenges.
The commission announced that it would include telecommunications operators in the exercise.
The spokesman of NIMC, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, said the government has approved the licensing of over 200 institutions to carry out enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) (NIMC).
Adegoke said the aim of the initiative was to address the bottlenecks associated with the NIMC’s collection of citizens’ data.
According to him the approach would raise the enrolment centres from the present 1,000 to 10,000 nationally.
He said that after the completion of the exercise, the NIMC is ready to scale up its assignment to regulatory functions.
Adegoke, however, clarified in a statement that the licensed agents were approved after successfully fulfilling all the conditions in the advertised Expression of Interest (EOI), which was done in 2019 as a first step towards the take off of the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.
He said the breakdown of the effective licensees shows that 16 state governments, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Sokoto and Zamfara, were licensed to register citizens for NIN.
“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Pension Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria (through Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc), the National Population Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Joint Tax Board and the Postal Services of Nigeria are licensed public sector institutions,” he added.