The government of Nigeria has secured the sum of $433 million for a National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) project. The sum was raised by the World Bank, European Union, and others for this project. NIMC plans to launch a new digital system that would capture citizen’s identity and issue out identity numbers for the next 5 years.
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NIMC will start by issuing out identity numbers for 50 million citizens per annum to create a single database of the population. Before this scheme, only about 38% of citizens were properly documented for identity. This figure is low for Nigeria with an estimated population of 200 million people and renowned as the largest country in Africa.
According to the NIMC Director-General, Aliyu Aziz, a new digital system will be launched in collaboration with other government agencies and the private sector by the end of the month.
“ We have a thousand data centres across the country but not enough capacity to capture and provide the identification of about 200 million citizens and non-citizens resident in the country. This is why we are partnering with private and public agencies.”
This new decision by the federal government comes ahead of plans to make sure citizens have an identification number before they can be issued passports, vote, open bank accounts or receive pensions. It would be a citizen’s access to any national benefit or participation in national decision-making activities. Nigerians in the diaspora are not exempted from the scheme. They would be required to register once the process begins.
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