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NIMC begins registration of Nigerians in Diaspora

By on January 26, 2015

The National Identity Management Commission has commenced the enrolment of Nigerians in Mexico as part of its grand plan to register all the nation’s citizens in Diaspora.

The Director-General and the Chief Executive Officer, NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, said this at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast forum in Lagos.

A statement by the commission on Friday quoted the DG as saying from inception till date, about 5.5 million people had been registered on the NIMC database, adding that there were plans to make the enrolment mandatory for every citizen.

He said the harmonisation of the identity management system with 14 government agencies had been achieved by ensuring that the executives of the agencies were members of the board of directors of the NIMC.

The director-general said after an identity card with 13 applets had been issued, five of the applets would be activated immediately.

According to him, the electronic identity card will have its e-ID, international travel, biometrics, payment solution and the Electronic Public Key Infrastructure applets activated when issued to owners.

He added that agencies such as the National Pension Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Communication Commission, National Health Insurance Scheme, and National Population Commission had formed partnership with the NIMC.

In the financial services sector, he said an agreement had been reached with the Central Bank of Nigerian and modalities and processes were already in place to use the national identity number as a requirement for obtaining a Bank Verification Number.

Onyemenam said that the agency had been able to provide a virtual payment solution that guaranteed security of funds through its partnership with MasterCard, Visacard and Verve.

The DG said, “It also means that financial credit institutions can lend credit facilities to individuals, and what that means is a gradual shift from emphasis and focusing on cash to credit, which is expected to drive the economy.

“Another important one is the financial inclusion strategy. If you have no financial inclusion strategy based on a unique identity, you will never get it right. To get it right, therefore, we need a national identity management that can guarantee security and infrastructure to confirm the identity. We have not only provided that infrastructure, we have provided a virtual payment solution.”

Highlighting the benefits of the harmonisation with the government agencies, Onyemenam said terrorism, money laundering, crime could easily be detected.

He explained, “Harmonisation can help law enforcement agencies to focus on trends and undergo more accurate criminal profiling and drug trafficking trends. The duplication process provided by the NIMC solution ensures transport infrastructure, the identification of every individual can be leveraged by the government.”