The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the immediate implementation of a strategic roadmap for a new Digital Identity Ecosystem in Nigeria.
The announcement was made at the September 13, 2018 gathering presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The new development is to renew the country’s strategy for enrolment of Nigerians and lawful residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB).
The approval would give vent to provisions of the NIMC Act 23, 2007 which include enforcement of the mandatory use of a digital identity, National Identification Number (NIN), and application of appropriate sanctions on defaulters as captured in Section 28 of the enabling law.
A statement yesterday by NIMC explained the ecosystem as a framework that leverages on existing capabilities and infrastructure of distinct government agencies and private sector organisations to carry out enrolment of citizens and legal residents nationwide as well as issuance of the NIN.
On the roadmap, NIMC’s Director-General, Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, noted that the step was in line with government’s efforts to reposition the nation as a leader in the global economy following the launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in April 2017.
A major component of the decision is the mandatory use of NIN from January 1, 2019.
According to Aziz, the ERGP is an omnibus strategy for government to meet the critical needs of the citizenry in areas like food security, energy, transport, human capital development, but more importantly, to develop a local digital economy.
Identification, the NIMC DG explained, was fundamental to government’s achieving its new policy thrust of robust economic development.
He, however, regretted that many Nigerians lack basic identification documents in spite of efforts over the years.