e-ID Card Launch Speech

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  1. At the formal launch of the enrolment exercise for the issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN), last October, I did express my desire to see the commencement of the issuance process for the National Electronic Identity Card (e-ID Card) Scheme.  I am happy that this important milestone, in the roll out of the National Identity Management System, (NIMS), has been realised today.
  2. I am impressed with the quality of the e-ID Card and the work of the corporate partners that have made it possible. I commend especially the MasterCard World-Wide Corporation and Access Bank Plc, as well as the Commission, who followed all laid down procedures in achieving a World-class product. The combination of intricate security features and other multiple functions in the e-ID Card, improving its functionality and versatility is also significant.
  3. Following successful local and international tests, the e-Card Scheme has now finally taken off. It is important that the Commission’s on-going efforts at ensuring local content capacity in the Card Body production process is sustained with the same zeal as the meticulous rechecks of ensuring payment functionality, in compliance with international best practice.  Such high standard will help create economic and employment opportunities, consistent with our commitment to National Transformation.
  4. We must at the onset keep in mind that the journey to capture the populace, by issuing over 100million Cards has just begun. You should therefore ensure that the issuance process is prompt and swift enough to enable many more Nigerians obtain their own e-ID Cards, as soon as possible.
  5. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, will oversee that funding requirements, as budgeted, will be met and matched with appropriate delivery by the commission. It is important to ensure that this e-ID Card issuance process, proceeds smoothly, and that all MDAs, and indeed the private sector, can benefit from its designed functionalities, as soon as possible.
  6. The Commission should immediately complement the efforts of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) and Pension Department by ensuring that Federal Civil Servants and Pensioners are enrolled and issued their Cards promptly, so that the e-ID and the secure payment platform can both facilitate speedy and safe payment of salaries and pensions.
  7. The identity authentication and verification services that are in pilot phase, as demonstrated, should immediately be further extended to other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). It should also be made available at the Airports and other border posts, for enhanced security checks.
  8. The Commission should also ensure that all registrable persons as provided for in Section 16 of the NIMC Act No. 23, of 2007are enrolled into the National Identity Database and that all Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) involved in data capture activities, must align their activities, with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.
  9. The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) should also ensure compliance immediately. The regime of duplication of Biometric data bases must now have to give way to harmonization and unification with the e-ID scheme, which shall be the primary data base.
  10. The SGF, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Governor of the CBN should, in conjunction with the Commission, reach modalities for the harmonization of their biometric projects, including other ongoing projects in other MDAs, with the e-ID card scheme.
  11. Proliferation and duplication of efforts is neither cost effective, nor security-smart. It is important to remove obstacles that may impede the NIMC from the discharge of its constitutional functions and statutory obligations.
  12. The NIMC must now focus all its energy on ensuring that the remaining two components of the NIMS roll out  – Identity Authentication and Verification and the Alignment and in particular, Switching Over by the MDAs through the harmonization and integration framework – are deployed without fail.
  13. The logistics and speed of data collection must have to be improved upon, and this will reduce the justifications given by MDAs, as reasons for duplicated biometric options.   Hopefully, the Harmonization programme will help to achieve this, especially, by the Commission ensuring that MDAs switch or at least align their existing infrastructure, as data collection agents to the NIMC System.
  14. This should be the primary reason for expediting the Harmonization programme: more so, in this way scarce Government resources will be better optimized for significant national benefits.
  15. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have taken keen interest in this project, primarily because of the pervasive impact it can have on every facet of the socio-economic fabric of our dear nation, which is in sync with the Transformation Agenda of my Government.
  16. The fact that the project helps to establish the identity of the individual in such a way that privacy is assured and updating personal information is made easier. The project will also create effective access to the database in a more secure and user-friendly and reliable manner for the MDAs and even the private sector.
  17. Given also that the National e-ID Cards can be issued and reissued  with, ‘proof of identity’ possible, means that amongst other things, there will be more clarity around all forms of transactions and relationships.  Significantly,   some of the issues around identity- related theft and other such criminal vices and activities that are inimical to our national interests would be better addressed more efficiently.
  18. Last year, I used the occasion of the launch of the enrolment exercise for the National Identity Number (NIN) to call on the private sector to invest promptly in this project. Let me reiterate that call and emphasize that it is good business to do so.
  19. In this regard, the Board of NIMC must act decisively to increase investor confidence, in a very professional way, so that the various opportunities can be rapidly identified and exploited for the good of our economy.
  20. To all Nigerians, I say, remember the National Identification Number (NIN), is your Identity. The Card is not only a means of certifying your identity, but also a personal database repository and payment Card, all in your pocket!
  21. Once again, I commend the Board, Management and Staff of the NIMC; it is now my honour and privilege to formally kick-off the issuance of the National e-ID Card, Scheme for the good of our country.
  22. I thank you.
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