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We can’t produce national identity card for everyone – NIMC

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The National Identity Management Commission has said that it cannot produce national identity cards for everyone who enrolled for it despite the huge public clamour for it .
According to the commission , national identity cards that are ready are mainly for people who enrolled in 2012 and 2013 , noting that it was adopting a first – come , first -served approach .

The Director – General , NIMC , Aliyu Aziz , stated these at a press conference in Abuja on Monday , which was organised to announce the 4 th International Annual Meeting of the ID 4 Africa 2018 Movement being hosted by Nigeria .

“ The card that we have now is the best in the whole world , but it is difficult to really produce it for everyone . In the NIMC , the focus is first come, first served, and this is for those who enrolled in 2012 and 2013 , as they are the ones who have got their cards , ” he stated .

Aziz explained that the focus of the agency for the next three years would be on the National Identification Number and not on the card .

He said , “ The focus is actually on the National Identification Number . Your NIN gives you your identity and not the card . Historically, we focused ourselves on the card to be the output of what we do; but when the country went into recession , we stepped back and checked and found out that in the United States , it is the Social Security Number that connects all the other agencies .

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“ In the United Kingdom , it is the National Insurance Number ; and in India where recently they enrolled about 1 . 4 billion people , they only gave the number . This means you can now pull your own NIN and then print it the way you want it .

“ Recently in Nigeria , we did the Bank Verification Number ; and again , what you get is a number and not a BVN card . However , this does not mean that we won ’ t give out cards , because it is there in the law that we should issue a general multipurpose card that is secure . ”

The NIMC boss stated that some vendors had been identified to handle the printing of the national identity cards , but stressed that funding was a challenge .

“ We want to ask the vendors to print, for we have like five vendors in Lagos that can print these cards . So , we want to get the funding to print the cards by outsourcing it to the vendors . Right now , we are focused on enrolling people and harmonising their identities , which is why the number grew from five million to 30 million in our record . But on the ID cards , we have not done much , ” Aziz said .

In his address , the Executive Chairman , ID 4 Africa , Joseph Atick , said delegates at the conference would petition the United Nations on the need for an International Identity Day.

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“ We will be launching a petition tomorrow ( Tuesday ) and it is to petition the United Nations. Together , we are launching a petition to call on the United Nations to recognise September 16 as the International Identity Day, ” he added .

Atick explained that September 16 was chosen because Article 16 . 9 in the Sustainable Development Goals that was adopted in 2015 stated that there was a need for legal identity for all by 2030 .

“ Therefore , with respect to Article 16 . 9 , for us to commemorate the International Identity Day , we want it to be September 16 . We want it because identity is one of the most important aspects of the human experience in a modern society . We want to celebrate and create awareness about it , as well as measure our progress , ” he said .

The General Manager , Legal , Regulatory and Compliance Services , NIMC , Hadiza Ali – Dagabana , stated that once the commission begins the full implementation of the national identity card, it would penalise any organisation that refuses to acknowledge it as a valid form of identification in Nigeria .

According to her , the commission is working hard to commence a more robust nationwide enrolment exercise from July this year , and once that is achieved , the NIN would be fully implemented across the country .

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