As part of efforts to ensure seamless National Identity Number(NIN) enrollment for Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, the National Identity Management Commission NIMC has launched a self-service solution that allows Nigerians to register from the comfort of their homes using smartphones.
Speaking at the grand celebration marking the 5th National Identity Day, in Abuja, it’s Acting Director General, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the transformative power of identity, highlighting its role in unlocking access to essential services.
According to Coker-Odusote, “Identity is more than a mere card or a number; it symbolizes our existence, our entitlements, and our place within society. It unlocks access to essential services, social benefits, and pathways to personal and economic growth.
“It stands as a testament to our individuality while serving as a bridge to our shared humanity,”she said.
She restated NIMC’s vision to provide every citizen and legal resident with a digital primary identity, making it a universal reference point, also emphasized that access to reliable identity is not a privilege but a fundamental right.
“We firmly believe that access to a reliable identity is not a privilege but a fundamental right. It serves as the cornerstone upon which we can build a more inclusive, secure, and prosperous society,” she affirmed.
On his part, the Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, harped on the need for secure and verifiable identities in the modern digital age, where access to essential services, banking, and even online social media platforms all require proper identity verification.
“We live in the modern digital age where a secure and verifiable identity is vital for any set system to work. Think about it, you can’t access bank services and get ATM cards without proving your identity.
” You can’t even engage with others on online social media platforms without first verifying your identity, so identity is key in our everyday lives, which is why we commemorate this Day today, he noted.
The Minister, however, highlighted the importance of harmonizing and managing national identity, viewing it as a crucial means to mitigate and control crime while fostering national development.
“With a database of over 100 million National Identification Numbers in the National Identity Database, NIDB, NIMC provided essential access to attaining this goal along with other major stakeholders.
“As a member of the Ministry of Interior family, NIMC joins in with other sister agencies in not only improving access by the general public to services like passport acquisition and renewal but also the likes of efficient border security technology, effective handling of insecurity around the country, protection of critical national assets”,Tunji-Ojo said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Barnksforte Technology Limited, Mr Dayo Bankole, while commending President Bola Tinubu for making the right choice of appointing the Minister and Acting DG to lead the Agencies on National Identity Management, said that the launch of the self service mobile application by NIMC on Sept.16 was a major milestone in ensuring seamless NIN enrollment for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
He disclosed that the self-service mobile application was developed in partnership with Barnksforte Technologies Limited, a local ICT company, with with strict adherence to the provisions of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Data Protection and data laws in Nigeria.
Consequently Bankole noted that necessary measures had been put in place to ensure the security and protection of data while using the self service app, adding that since data was considered the ‘oil’ of the digital era, it was important to protect it.
He further said besides being seamless, the cost of using the self service app was minimal, adding that “it is cost effective compared to foreign technologies.”
He explained that the applicarion had four self service modules; self-service NIN enrollment, modification of data and validation as well as digital identity generation.
Bankole pointed out that the use of the application which is accessible from anywhere in the World, would enable Nigerians in the Diaspora to enroll, modify, validate and obtain digital Identity without the need to travel back to Nigeria.
The CEO said the application would be available on Google Play Store and IOS App Store once it is rolled out.
He said the self service application was one of the two modules of NIMC’s Contactless System, a cutting-edge technology enabled on mobile devices to support seamless enrollment of Nigerians into the National Identity Database with no limitation, in addition to other NIMC’s services.
According to him, while the agent based solution is for Nigerians within the country, the self service mobile application was designed for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“The solution consists of a module which NIMC’s enrollment partners through their agents enroll Nigerians for NIN all over the country and another module, the NIMC Self-Service Mobile Application,, which was launched on Sept. 16,”he said.
“The contactless system was adopted by NIMC for portability and flexibility.
“It is deployed on mobile devices for registration and verification is flexible, so, it is an all-in-one solution.
“Also, the solution supports enrollment in remote areas without internet access and electricity, meaning data can be captured in offline mode.
“It equally uses contactless biometrics to ensures optimum hygiene and non duplication of finger biometrics, while minimizing the money spent on maintaining contact or traditional based biometric which requires a computer, traditional scanner and other external hardware,”he said