REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF NATIONAL IDENTITY MANAGEMENT COMMISSION (NIMC) – ENGR. ALIYU A. AZIZ AT THE WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIC ROADMAP ON ID ECOSYSTEM FOR NIGERIA HELD ON WEDNESDAY 31 JANUARY, 2018 AT THE EXECUTIVE HALL, INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER, GARKI, ABUJA, NIGERIA
- Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour and privilege to welcome you all to the stakeholder workshop on Strategic Roadmap for ID Ecosystem in Nigeria.
- Permit me to give a brief historical background on this workshop.
- Over a year ago – precisely on the 8th of December 2016, all identity stakeholder agencies gathered at the State House Banquet Hall for a roundtable meeting on developing a Strategic Roadmap for ID Ecosystem in Nigeria and leveraging digital ID entity to develop and transform our nation. The focus of the ecosystem approach is to ensure every individual in Nigeria is given a unique identity within the next 3 – 5 years. And it can only happen when we all work together.
- At the roundtable meeting, the representative of the Vice President read out the charge of the Vice President to all stakeholders as follows:
- To ensure that the policies developed must be articulated and refined in such a way that government agencies must work together; collaborate with each other, share infrastructure and government investment to serve their customers who are potentially the same citizens and residents.
- That we give Nigeria a world class identity management infrastructure, which will be pivotal to the security and socio-economic transformation of the country.
- Robust action plans to shape the implementation of the Presidential directive for the alignment of all biometric identity databases in the country.
- To reach a common understanding on what our nation needs right now, what business model and approach should be adopted in ensuring that everyone in Nigeria has a unique identity (an identifier that serves the public and private sectors alike) and
- Consider options and strategies for streamlining activities of MDAs and optimizing the use of scarce government resources in achieving a common goal on identification as an enabler.
- Throughout the year 2017, several stakeholder meetings were held under the auspices of the Harmonization & Integration Committee, made up of about 25 government agencies, to achieve the above Presidential objectives and we had high level support from the Office of the Vice President through the SSA-ICT to the President – who was present at all our meetings in the past year.
- The World Bank team also held one-on-one meetings with several stakeholders in the identity sector in Nigeria (private and public).
- Two sub-committees – Business Model & Plan and Legal & Regulatory – were set-up by the Harmonization & Integration Committee and the reports of these sub-committees served as input to the development of the Strategic Roadmap that is being presented today.
- The draft Strategic roadmap has been reviewed by the Harmonization & Integration Committee and it was decided that the document be exposed to an expanded audience cutting across different sectors of the economy so as to get the document more enriched with inputs, feedbacks and comments.
- At the end of today, we expect to have a document that is ready for finalization and submission to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and subsequent implementation.
- Private sector participation is required for extended optimization of resources typically devoted to addressing issues of PROOF OF IDENTITY across the nation. It would also mean seamless integration and use of a common facility for identity verification and authentication, in both the public and private sectors.
- Some of the accruable benefits to a credible national database of unique identities are as follows:
- Enhancement of law enforcement work.
- Accessibility to consumer credit.
- Ensuring financial inclusion.
- Reduction in cost of governance and citizens’ service delivery.
- Achievement of multi-pronged approach to the fight against corruption.
- Introduction of social security or welfare payments.
If we are to gain all these benefits, then, we must first and foremost, establish, populate a credible National ID Database and provide secured, authorized access for verification of the identities of individuals.
- I want to commend all stakeholders so far and those joining us now. Your commitment, cooperation, focus and support in pursuing this quest to bequeath a credible, secure, world class identity management system to our children and the unborn generations is highly appreciated. I pray and hope that this commitment and focus will be sustained till eventual successful implementation of the Strategic Roadmap for the Identity Ecosystem in Nigeria.
- Thank you all for honouring our invitation. I wish us all a productive and fruitful deliberation.