THE Director-General, National Identity Management Commission(NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz Abubakar on Monday disclosed that most Nigerians are not getting the multipurpose e-ID cards despite enrolment into the national database due to funding constraints.
He said although, the founding laws of the commission stipulated that a multi-purpose e-ID card is given as proof of its activities, it is incapacitated by the paucity of funds.
The DG made the disclosure in Abuja at a press briefing to kick start the 4th annual conference of the ID4Africa movement holding at the International Conference Center(ICC).
According to him, the commission is majorly focused on enrolment of Nigerians into the database, where enrollee would be issued with a National Identification Number(NIN).
He explained that the NIN is the major identity of an individual stressing that the commission currently cannot produce the e-IDcards for everyone.
“The focus is on NIN, the NIN gives you your identity. Historically we focus on the card to be an output of what we do.“When we entered recession, we stepped back and check and we found out that in the US, the social security number is the one that connects all the other agencies, in the UK, it is National Insurance Number, in India where recently they enrolled about 1.4 billion people, they did not even give them a NIN slip but rather, they just gave them a number.
“that does not mean that card will not be given because it is there in the law that we should give a multipurpose card that is secured but it is difficult right now to produce for everyone because it is the best in the whole world,” he explained.
While reacting to questions of alleged partiality in the issuance of the e-ID cards, he said; “At NIMC, the focus is first come, first serve at least for 99 percent. It is people that have registered in 2012 and 2013 that have already gotten their cards.
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“That does not mean that some people didn’t get recently but the focus is first come, first serve.”
He added that in the next three years, the commission will focus on the issuance of NIN rather than card saying the technique increased the number of enrolments from 5 million to 30 million.
“The focus now for the next three years will be on the number and not on the card. We have like five vendors in Lagos that can print these cards, it is to get the funding to ask them to print the cards.
“That is why we focus on enrolling people and then harmonizing their identity that is why we grew from 5 million to 30 million records but on the ID cards, we have not done much.”
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, ID4Africa, Dr. Joseph Atick said the event aims to bring together experts from across the country to discuss and learn about identity management.
Also, he disclosed that the conference will be launching a petition to the United Nations(UN) on adoption of September 16 as the international identity day.
He explained that if adopted, the day will be set aside for the celebration of identity across the world.
“identity is an important aspect of human and once we get the UN approval, other countries will key into it. This is starting in Abuja tomorrow all the way to New York where other countries will vote,” he said.
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