Following the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the immediate commencement of the implementation of a strategic roadmap for a new Digital Identity Ecosystem in Nigeria, the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, has said that the step falls in line with the Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the country as a leader in the global economy, which resulted in the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in April 2017.
FEC at its last meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, opened a new chapter in giving Nigeria a credible and robust identity management system with the approval of the new identity ecosystem strategy for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
The FEC approval of the new Digital Identity Ecosystem will bring into full force the implementation of the provisions of the NIMC Act 23, 2007, which include the enforcement of the mandatory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) and the application of appropriate sanctions and penalties on defaulters as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act.
The new digital identity Ecosystem is a framework that leverages on the existing capabilities and infrastructure of distinct government agencies and private sector organisations to carry out enrolment of Citizens and Legal residents nationwide as well as issuance of digital identity, known as the National Identity Number (NIN).
A major outcome of the FEC’s approval of the strategic road map for the new digital identity ecosystem is the mandatory enforcement of the use of NIN, which NIMC has announced to come into full force on January 1, 2019.
According to Aziz, the ERGP is designed, “as an omnibus strategy for the government to meet the critical needs of the citizenry in areas such as food security, energy, transport, human capital development, but more critically developing a local digital economy.”
Identification, the DG of NIMC explained, “is fundamental to the Federal Government achieving its new policy for the overall economic development of the country,” but regretted that “many Nigerians lack basic identification documents despite significant government efforts over the years.”
Explaining the powers of NIMC, under its Act, Aziz said: “NIMC is empowered to ensure strict compliance with the NIN requirement and can demand evidence of compliance from a person or entity; caution a non-compliant person or entity in writing; sanction a non-compliant person or entity by the imposition of administrative fines or institute criminal or civil actions against the non-complaint person or entity.”
Speaking further, he said Section 27 of the NIMC Act empowers the Commission to set a date for the enforcement of the use of the NIN for transactions listed in the Act and also to expand applicable transaction in a Regulation approved by the Attorney General of the Federation.
Consequently, Aziz said: “the Commission shall from 1st January 2019 commence full enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN and apply all applicable sanctions and penalties as provided under Section 28 of the NIMC Act against defaulters.”
The post Approval of strategic road map for digital identity ecosystem, a right step —DG NIMC appeared first on Tribune.