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NIMC will ensure Nigerians are captured in identity database – DG Coker-Odusote

The Director General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Abisoye Coker-Odusote has vowed to ensure that every Nigerian home and abroad are captured in the country’s identity database.

The DG made this known in her remark in Abuja on Wednesday the commencement of two-day roundtable with Publishers of Online Newspapers In Nigeria , aimed at building formidable bridges between the NIMC and the influential voices of the online media landscape.

She noted that the drive to have all Nigerians registered in the country ‘s database is inline with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 16.9), which seeks to ensure that everyone on the earth planet has a form of identity by 2030.

She said,”Pursuant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 16.9), which seeks to ensure that everyone on the earth planet has a form of identity by 2030, NIMC shall not rest, until every citizen of Nigeria (at home and in the diaspora) and legal residents are captured on the country’s identity database.

“We are also very deliberate about inclusion. A compelling strategy is already in place, with support from the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project to ensure that those that are at the risk of being excluded on Nigeria’s identity project are adequately covered.

“From persons with disabilities, to women and children, the elderly, and those in rural and hard to reach areas, we are determined to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Coker-Odusote noted that in the digital age, the influence of online media cannot be overstated, pointing out that the internet has become a primary source of information for many, particularly the youth.

She however, lamented that the has also become a breeding ground for misinformation and rumours, which can severely impact the reputation and trust in organizations.

“Our focus today is to address the dual role of online publishers – as key partners in disseminating accurate information and as potential sources of misconceptions.

“We recognize that while you have the power to amplify our successes, there is also the potential for misunderstandings that can spread rapidly.

“This Roundtable aims to forge a partnership that leverages your strengths to support our mission while ensuring that any misconceptions are promptly and accurately addressed.

“It will create a platform for NIMC to explain our activities and achievements directly to you, ensuring clear communication and mutual understanding.

“The mandate of NIMC is ambitious, yet crucial. Achieving these goals requires effective mobilization of citizens through strategic communication.

“Pursuant to our commitment to transparency and accountability, we have instituted robust mechanisms for participation, grievance redress, and regular monitoring to enhance operational performance and mitigate social risk,” she said.

She added,”Our grievance redress system includes a centralized grievance register, a contact centre, and multiple channels for submitting complaints.

“This system ensures that queries are addressed promptly, problems with implementation are resolved efficiently, and complaints from ecosystem partners are effectively managed.

“NIMC under my watch is committed to complying with all extant laws and regulations governing the protection of data in Nigeria.

“So far, we have done so much towards ensuring compliance with the highest standards of data security, sanitizing the system and processes, while ensuring the integrity of data on the country’s identity database. We shall not rest on our oars,” she said.

The NIMC DG thanked the online publishers for all their support to the commission, “particularly, since I assumed office at NIMC. We do not take this for granted.

“While we take deliberate steps towards deepening our engagements with you, rest assured of our commitment to the highest standards of professionalism in the implementation of NIMC’s mandate.

“My administration has zero tolerance for corruption. I hereby reiterate my commitment to sanitizing NIMC, in conformity with the mandate of Mr. President.

“Let me also use this medium to remind you all that enrolment for the National Identification Number (NIN) is free of charge in Nigeria”.

She noted that the Commission has put in place robust measures to safeguard the nation’s database.

“Let me use this medium to, once again, reassure Nigerians, at home, and in the diaspora that robust measures are in place to safeguard the nation’s database from cyber threats.

“NIMC’s infrastructure adheres to the stringent ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System Standard, ensuring that the highest standards of data protection are maintained.

“Under my leadership, NIMC has an unwavering commitment to upholding ethical standards in data protection.

“Cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time monitoring systems are in place to protect the database.

“We are also very deliberate about ensuring that all partners and vendors of the commission comply with strict security standards,” she stressed.

The DG urged the media practitioners to guided by professionalism and ethical conducts.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, Project Implementation Unit, Nigeria Digital ID4D Project, Tito Ejenavi acknowledged that the digital media gatekeepers play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and disseminating information in the nation’s ever-evolving digital landscape.

Ejenavi noted that identity systems have over the years marginalized certain groups due to logistical challenges and social stigmas.

She therefore expressed the ID4D commitment to ensuring that the trend is reversed.
“The Nigeria Digital ID4D Project is a (Nigerian) collaborative effort, jointly funded by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the French Development Agency, with a singular objective: to increase the number of persons with a National Identity Number (NIN) through a robust and inclusive foundational identity system that enables access to services.
“Our mission is rooted in the principle of inclusion.
“Historically, identity systems have often inadvertently marginalized certain groups due to logistical challenges and social stigmas, particularly affecting women and persons with disabilities.

“We are committed to reversing this trend by ensuring that our ID system is inclusive, equitable, and accessible to all Nigerians, regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, or physical abilities,” she said.

She also disclosed that the foundational ID system that NIMC is building is not just about numbers; it’s about people and their access to rights and services.
“By strengthening our national identity infrastructure, we aim to bolster Nigeria’s digital economy, enhance data protection, and close the inclusion gaps that hinder access to identification and related key services.

“This is particularly crucial for marginalized groups, including persons living with disabilities and the rural poor,” she said.
Also, the Deputy President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), Mr Danlami Nmodu, mni commended the organisers of the roundtable particularly the DG of NIMC and Coordinator of the ID4D. Nmodu assured them of the commitment of the online publishers to driving accurate narrative of the NIMC’s efforts towards capturing all Nigerians in the country’s identity database.