The new national identity management system is an emergent revolution which is about to be introduced in country, and suffice it to say, it will take the nation by the storm.
The system, which is planned to be launched this September, is capable of sanitising the identification system of the nation. The federal government early this year approved N30.066 billion for the take-off of the project, just as Nigerians, as usual are questioning the viability and sustainability of the project; which is to be monitored by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The hue and cry across the country is that the last exercise, for the national identity card registration, was wasteful and that no meaningful gain was recorded from the large investment of tax payer’s money. Nevertheless, a lot of work has been done and substantial resources invested and all systems are set to swing into action come September, 2012, when a nationwide registration of Nigerians is projected to commence, to terminate by the 31st of December, 2012.
A critical assessment of the current identity registration will reveal that this is not an equivalent of the previous national identity card, which served the sole purpose of identifying citizens which was grossly undermined with rampant incidences of identity theft and abuse. Rather, this is a chip-based, secure identity card with a network of access and means of undeniably proving the identity of an individual.
The most important thing about NIMS is that it will provide a universal identification infrastructure for the entire country which should help to bring real and recognisable benefits to the government and the citizens, individually and collectively and for all legal residents in the country. It will undertake the management of the bio-data of every Nigerian from birth to death and it is programmed to coordinate all the personal data of every Nigerian in such a way that in one card, every data about the individual can be obtained.
The project is an all important venture for Nigeria, especially going by the current security challenges that the nation is facing. The smart card which will be produced at the end of this exercise has a data base that can be read in a specialised device, hence will be useful to law enforcement agencies and other related bodies. It will at an instance give the complete and correct identity of persons whose data has been captured and in events of crime; it will serve as a tool of tracing criminals, as well as identifying/differentiating Nigerians from non Nigerians. Other advantages associated with the NIMC registration is the fact that it provides a convenient and simplified process for enrolment into the national identity database for the issuance and use of the national identification number, and the identity (Smart) card, helps protect against identity theft and fraud by providing a simple, reliable, sustainable and universally acceptable means of confirming your identity at all times.
No matter the level of our underdevelopment, local firms such as ACT Technologies Limited, an ICT company which specialises in the marketing, design, sales, supply, installation, integration and maintenance of information and communication technology as well as biometric systems, are adequately positioned to carry out this job.
Other companies include Chams Nigeria PLC, One Secure ID Ltd, Value Technologies Ltd, and Pure Access Nigeria; these indigenous firms have a sustainable record of winning practices in program management support, capital investment planning, and SOA architecture consulting over the years.
They are more than mere technology companies because over the years, they have been on the fore front of providing their customers with the strategic thinking, architectural vision, investment control, and practical solutions that save money, return value to the lines of business, and holistically implement solutions to preserve operations typically impacted by change and modernisation.
The NIMS is a laudable project that must be encouraged by all and sundry, it will go a long way to sanitise the identification management system for the country, and as such must be supported by every Nigerian, but we must not allow our desire for foreign and multinational companies to override the call to reason and the encouragement of national and indigenous firm who can do better, this should be a stepping stone for other nations to invite them for similar projects in the near future.
Filed Under: Brand and Marketing Edge