HomeNEWSNIMC DG, Abisoye Coker-Adesote Unveils Plan to Enroll Every Nigerian in Unified...

NIMC DG, Abisoye Coker-Adesote Unveils Plan to Enroll Every Nigerian in Unified National Database for Seamless Transactions

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Afor Kenneth

The Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Abisoye Coker-Adesote, reveals how her commission plans to enroll every Nigerian in a single-source database for seamless transactions across the country.

It’s been nine months since you came into the commission considered one of the most significant in terms of planning and management of the entire nation. In any country, data is very important. Tell us what’s it been like for you since you came into office?

“It has been a very interesting journey. It has come with its challenges but we have thrived till now and there’s been so much work and effort that we have put into this commission.
If you had not mentioned the word challenge, I would have been shocked. So, let me tell you a fun fact: I thrive where there are challenges. I hit the ground running.”

You came on board at a time when many were concerned about the national identity number of citizens which is supposed to be vital to the management and security of the country. How many people have been enrolled so far and what’s the situation?

“So, we have enrolled, as of today, a little bit over 107 million. I think that’s fantastic because it means that we have covered a little bit over 50% of the entire population of Nigeria because Nigeria has been roughly about 200 million people. So, it shows that we’re on the right path and we’re in the right direction to achieve this.

“We are striving and working very hard to make sure that we’re able to increase the enrolment. And we came up with a five-point agenda to really see how we can address these issues that you have mentioned. We’ve listened to Nigerians’ cries. A lot of people have said they have not received their identity cards, a lot of people have said that they are not able to modify their NIN (National Identification Number) information or data with ease. So, we’ve had to look at all of those challenges and said, ‘OK, how best do we address these issues?’ And how do we ensure that we make it a seamless process for the average Nigerian citizen and ensure that also at the same time, there is inclusion, which means this cut across women, children, the disabled, and even those that are in the prison centres. We need to make sure that they definitely have a unique identifier generated for them and they are given a digital identity. That’s very key to us.

“What we’re trying to do at NIMC is to ensure that we increase the enrolment, tribe and to also ensure that we integrate and harmonise all the databases within the ministry, departments and agencies which have been operating in silence for so many years. And we want to ensure that there is a central database that would be able to have all the information of citizens stored on it and it then will save you a lot of time and half the processing time for everything you want to do. If for example, you’re going to go to apply for a passport, the information gotten from the NIN is what would be used to issue that passport for you, which has already been in the works with the Nigerian immigration.”

How is that working out? Many Nigerians will tell you, ‘if I want a driver’s license, I have to go and do a capture, if I want a passport, I have gone to do a capture. I want to open a bank account; I have to do a capture’.

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