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NIN data integration to ensure seamless passports issuance in Nigeria: NIMC Chief

Engr. Abisoye Coker-Adesote, Director-General of NIMC

*Engr. Abisoye Coker-Adesote, Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, in a recent interview, explains how the regulatory Commission’s plans to enrol every Nigerian on a ‘single-source database’ for seamless transactions in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Engr. Abisoye Coker-Adesote, Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),  has disclosed her Commission’s plans to enrol every Nigerian consumer on a single-source database for seamless transactions in the West African country.

In connection with activating NIMC’s mandate since she assumed office last year, Engr. Coker-Adesote, in a recent interview with Channels TV, monitored in Lagos, said the Commission had enrolled over 107 million Nigerians.

She stated: “I think that’s fantastic because it means that we have covered a little bit over 50% of the entire population of Nigeria because Nigeria has been roughly about 200 million people.

“So, it shows that we’re on the right path and we’re in the right direction to achieve this. We are striving and working very hard to make sure that we’re able to increase the enrolment.”

The NIMC five-point agenda

The Director-General of NIMC also explained that her leadership came up with a five-point agenda to really see how the organisation could address certain identified issues in the system.

“We’ve listened to Nigerians’ cries. A lot of people have said they have not received their Identity Cards. A lot of people have said that they are not able to modify their NIN s (National Identification Numbers) information or data with ease.

“So, we’ve had to look at all of those challenges and said, ‘OK, how best do we address these issues?’ And how do we ensure that we make it a seamless process for the average Nigerian citizen and ensure that also at the same time, there is inclusion, which means this cut across women, children, the disabled, and even those that are in the prison centres.

“We need to make sure that they definitely have a unique identifier generated for them and they are given a digital identity. That’s very key to us,” stated Coker-Adesote.

NIN information for use in passport issuance, says Coker-Adesote

On the need to harmonise Nigerians’ data into the central database, she stated that NIMC is trying to ensure increases in enrolment, tribe, and to also ensure that it integrates and harmonises all the databases within the government Ministry, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which have been operating in silence for so many years.

She noted: “We want to ensure that there is a central database that would be able to have all the information of citizens stored on it, and it then will save you a lot of time and half the processing time for everything you want to do.

The NIMC Chief said: “If for example, you’re going to go to apply for a (Nigerian) passport, the information got from the NIN is what would be used to issue that passport for you, which has already been in the works with the Nigeria Immigration Service.”

As regards the need to harmonise the databases operating in silos over the years.

According to her, this means that the name of each Nigerian, being the foundational identity, will then be used to be the source of the truth for the identity of each individual.

Coker-Adesote further explained, for instance, your information would be used in the driver’s licence office, your information will be used at the hospital. Your information will be used to access any education care that has been put in place or any education or intervention programmes, social intervention programmes.

“That is what we want to happen; that’s what we want to see,” she declared.

On the significance of this step, the Director-General noted that there would not be any need for multiple capturing again.

She said the Immigration would only type in one’s name and the person makes whatever payments need to be done without having to do a capture again.

Speaking on the latest effort at data harmonisation in the country’s ID ecosystem, she revealed that there are two layers to this.

Coker-Adesote explained: “Regarding your bio data at the moment, that’s already ongoing, you put in your NIN on their portal and your NIN information is being called up, your biodata then auto-populate the fields.

“If there’s any second layer of information required by immigration, you will then have to complete that form with that information, but it will populate it with your initial information which means you will not spend too long to input all the information that you have.”

The NIMC Director-General added: “Another thing that we’re doing now is biometric verification. We’re going to get to the point where all the biometric information will be done by NIMC so that they (other agencies of government) are also able to call up that information and then populate their forms electronically.

“That will then save you going for any form of capturing again, except if it’s an in an instance where a child is five years old. You know, kids change.”

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