Upgraded multipurpose NIN cards ready for collection in July – NIMC

Cross section of dignitaries at the event.

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has assured Nigerians that the upgraded multipurpose National Identification Number (NIN) cards would be ready for collection from July 2024.

The Director- General/CEO, NIMC, Engr. Abisoye Coker-Odusote, at a 2-Day Roundtable With Publishers of Online Newspapers in Nigeria sponsored by NIMC and Nigeria Digital ID4D Project in Lagos, today, noted that, the new upgraded card, aside being a means of identity, could be used for banking services, voting, among others as the federal government embarked on move to harmonise identity systems in which NIMC is central to actualisation of this move.

The new securitised and identity card, it stressed, has about 18 security features, even as the card collection, this time around, would be on request at no charge.

Assuring that the new card has several defence mechanisms that would not allow criminals access to people’s data from criminal purpose, the Director-General noted that Nigerians who already had their NIN are qualified to apply for the upgraded card through NIMC or partnering banks and other organisations.

Coker-Odusote, who was represented by the deputy director/Head of Strategy of the commission, Dr. Alvan Ikoku at the event, pointed out that, currently, sensitisation and engagement are ongoing so as to have a seamless process by the time the project roll-out next month.

The mandate of NIMC, she said, is ambitious, yet crucial, noting that, achieving these goals requires effective mobilisation of citizens through strategic communication, adding that, “Pursuant to our commitment to transparency and accountability, we have instituted robust mechanisms for participation, grievance redress, and regular monitoring to enhance operational performance and mitigate social risks.”

She stated that, its grievance redress system includes a centralised grievance register, a contact centre, and multiple channels for submitting complaints as this system ensures that queries are addressed promptly, problems with implementation are resolved efficiently, and complaints from ecosystem partners are effectively managed.

According to her, “NIMC under my watch is committed to complying with all extant laws and regulations governing the protection of data in Nigeria. So far, we have done so much towards ensuring compliance with the highest standards of data security, sanitizing the system and processes, while ensuring the integrity of data on the country’s identity database. We shall not rest on our oars.”

On her part, the coordinator, Project Implementation Unit, Nigeria Digital ID4D Project, Tito Ejenavi, Nigeria Digital ID4D Project is a (Nigerian) collaborative effort funded by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the French Development Agency, with a singular objective: to increase the number of persons with a National Identity Number (NIN) through a robust and inclusive foundational identity system.

This project, she stressed, is designed to facilitate access to essential services and, ultimately, to stimulate demand for these IDs based on the improved accessibility to services they enable, stating that, this mission is rooted in the principle of inclusion.

Historically, she stated that, identity systems have often inadvertently marginalised certain groups due to logistical challenges and social stigmas, particularly affecting women and persons with disabilities, stating that the agency is committed to reversing this trend by ensuring that our ID system is inclusive, equitable, and accessible to all Nigerians, regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, or physical abilities.

“The foundational ID system that NIMC is building is not just about numbers; it’s about people and their access to rights and services. By strengthening our national identity infrastructure, we aim to bolster Nigeria’s digital economy, enhance data protection, and close the inclusion gaps that hinder access to identification and related key services. This is particularly crucial for marginalized groups, including persons living with disabilities and the rural poor,” she noted.

Leveraging collaboration with NIMC, she said, the implementing agency for the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project, is pivotal.

In his presentation on ‘NIMC: Mandate, Approach, Operations and Strategy,’ the head of Legal , NIMC, Festus Esangbedo, disclosed that, NIMC’s approach leveraging technology, innovation, ensures the integrity of operations and prioritise the security of personal data, adding that, the commission manages a robust infrastructure that supports the extensive and secured collection, storage and verification of identity data.

Stressing that the commission focuses on collaboration with technology partners and systemic rollout across regions, ensuring scalable and effective identity management, he noted that, the ongoing commitment of NIMC to uphold high standard of identity verification and data protection is pivotal in building a resilient and inclusive future for all Nigerians.


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