The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is determined to grow its database to 50 million by December this year and 70 million by 2019.
The process of harmonization of identity schemes in Nigeria through NIMC has seen the database grow from 7 million to 14 million by 2016 and from 14 million to 28million in 2017.
The Federal Government believed that a robust identity management system with quality data is key for every emerging economy as such, Nigeria and by extension Africa must leverage on its digital identity as a reliable tool for socio economic development.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave these indications Tuesday while declaring open the fourth annual government forum on electronic identity in Africa organised by the National Identity Commission, NIMC in collaboration with ID4Africa on the theme: ‘Harmonization of Identity Scheme’ holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Buhari who was represented by Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha noted that, the Federal Government has long recognized the need to have a single national identity system for all citizens in order to carry out its mandate in social and economic development, law enforcement, intelligence and political development.
He emphasized that the international community, especially the developed countries have adopted identity as a tool for transformation of governance and service delivery in areas such as transportation, financial inclusion, immigration, healthcare, social safety nets, agriculture, security and so on and Nigeria as well as Africa cannot be left behind.
“Africa needs to embrace the global drive towards optimization in the use of resources by making its Digital Identity Infrastructure efficient thereby creating an enabling environment for talented African youths to tap into these technologies.
“Indeed, with the advent of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Block-chain, now is the time to build an ecosystem that will enhance continent-wide security, minimize fraud and wasteful expenditure,” the President maintained.