The management of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) led by the Director General/CEO Barr. Chris Onyemenam paid a working visit to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday 17th November, 2014.
The visit according to the DG was aimed at deepening or strengthening the existing collaboration between the two agencies with regards to identity establishments and management and also leveraging on the existing warm relationship between the NIS and NIMC for better identity management and national security.
The team was received by the management team of the NIS led by the Comptroller General (CG) David Shikfu Parradang OFR, mni at the NIS Board Room, in Abuja.
Barr. Onyemenam presented a comprehensive overview of the national identity project, the whole essence of which is to assign the National Identification Number (NIN) to genuine Nigerians for identity management in tandem with international best practice.
He reeled out other electronic functionalities embedded on the document to include financial transactions and most importantly the fact that NIMC’s database could serve as a veritable tool for cross-checking information provided by passport applicants.
The DG of NIMC went further to establish that the NIS has been collaborating with NIMC in vetting the enrolees for the national identity cards thereby reducing the possibility of non Nigerians having access to this important document.
He said that NIS over time, apart from making its officers available for vetting prospective enrolees, has also allowed its passport issuing offices as NIN enrolment centres which is strategic for capturing many Nigerians.
Responding, the Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. David S Parradang OFR, mni commended the DG of NIMC, for his efforts at bringing government intention in identifying bonafide Nigerians through the instrumentality of the National e-ID Card to fruition. The reason for the commendation, according to the CG is twofold: “It is clear for all to see that the DG of NIMC has not only succeeded where all previous attempts in same direction failed, apart from the fundamental role of forestalling identity theft, the card in addition tobiometrics has multifunctional use”.
Continuing, the CG advised the Commission to continue to place the interest of the nation paramount while discharging its statutory duties and further stated that identification was key to national interest and security. He emphasized the need for a more robust partnership between the two agencies so that only authentic Nigerians will be issued the e-ID Card.
The CG stated that “we need to define parameters for issuing the e-ID Card. The NIS has over time developed skills and competencies to identify Nigerians that could be leveraged by NIMC for proper identification”. He also stressed the need to continue having officers of the NIS working closely with NIMC enrolment officials at the centresso as not to allow the card fall into wrong hands. He cited examples of our neighbouring countries where identity card issuance is nothing but a rigorous process.
In his concluding remarks, the DG NIMC expressed his profound appreciation to the management of the NIS for its collaborative disposition towards the national e-ID project and went further to state that the NIMC database will form a middle ware to crosscheck information already existing in various databases of different government agencies. “We intend to provide a database that could be a reference point for agencies of government to rely on for verification and authentication” he concluded.
The meeting came to a close with management of both agencies agreeing to set up a technical committee to harmonize grey areas and to work assiduously towards the delivery of the e-ID cards to bonafide Nigerians in the overall national interest.
Service PRO (NIS)
Corporate Communications (NIMC)