- The National Identity Management Commission has said that it cannot produce national identity cards for everyone
- The commission's DG explained that for the next three years, the NIMC would not be focused on the card, but on the National Identification Number, which Nigerians can then print
- He explained that the printing of the national identity cards had been given to some vendors; but that funding was a challenge
Despite huge public clamour, the National Identity Management Commission has said that it cannot produce national identity cards for all those who enrolled for it.
The development was made public by the NIMC director general, Aliyu Aziz, at a press conference on Monday, April 23, Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the commission stated that it was adopting a first-come, first-served approach and disclosed that the cards which are ready are mostly for those who enrolled in 2012 and 2013.
Aziz stated: “The card that we have now is the best in the whole world, but it is difficult to really produce it for everyone. In the NIMC, the focus is first come, first served, and this is for those who enrolled in 2012 and 2013, as they are the ones who have got their cards."
The DG explained that for the next three years, the agency would not be focused on the card, but on the National Identification Number.
He stated: “The focus is actually on the National Identification Number. Your NIN gives you your identity and not the card.
“Historically, we focused ourselves on the card to be the output of what we do; but when the country went into recession, we stepped back and checked and found out that in the United States, it is the Social Security Number that connects all the other agencies.
“In the United Kingdom, it is the National Insurance Number; and in India where recently they enrolled about 1.4 billion people, they only gave the number. This means you can now pull your own NIN and then print it the way you want it.
“Recently in Nigeria, we did the Bank Verification Number; and again, what you get is a number and not a BVN card.
“However, this does not mean that we won’t give out cards, because it is there in the law that we should issue a general multipurpose card that is secure."
Aziz said the printing of the national identity cards had been given to some vendors; but that funding was a challenge.
He said: “We want to ask the vendors to print, for we have like five vendors in Lagos that can print these cards. So, we want to get the funding to print the cards by outsourcing it to the vendors.
“Right now, we are focused on enrolling people and harmonising their identities, which is why the number grew from five million to 30 million in our record. But on the ID cards, we have not done much.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that as the federal government announced that as from Janiary 1, 2018, no Nigerian will obtain or renew international passports without having the National Identification Number (NIN).
Mohammed Babandede, the comptroller general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), while addressing state house correspondents, said the development was part of efforts to have a centralised database for Nigerians and to also improve the business environment in the country.
Babandede also said NIS would collaborate with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to capture 180 million persons in three years, up from the 20 million Nigerians that have so far been captured in the NIN database.
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