The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) says it has a target to register 28 million Nigerians into the National Identification Number (NIN) system by the end of 2017.
The Director General of NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz, announced this at a media briefing in Lagos.
Aziz said that anyone without the NIN issued by the commission ran the risk of being regarded as a non-citizen.
“The commission embarked on an enrollment strategy in 2012 which has grown exponentially since 2015.
“Now we have reached 18.5 million and the focus which is our goal is that by 2017 end, the commission would have reached 28 million people.
“The main aim of the registration is to have a single identification,” he said.
He listed the many benefits of the NIN to include one person one identity, enhanced participation in the political process and its value as an important tool to fight corruption and terrorism.
Aziz said the NIN would enable citizens to exercise their rights and facilitate management of subsidies and safety net payments as applicable to internally displaced persons.
He said that to achieve this, the commission needed to tackle some of the challenges it was facing, such as data captured being very poor and absence of a central ID repository.
Others, he said, were the up-scaling deficiency, legal framework peculiarity and the challenge of political will.
He also bemoaned the poor funding of the commission which he said had hampered the execution of its mandate and targets.
According to him, poor funding and inadequate staff remuneration had led to the constant loss of strategic human resources.
Aziz, however, said that the commission had also made some achievements which included increasing the National Identity Database which currently boasts of about 18.5 million records.
He said that 809 NIN enrollment centers had also been created nationwide just as it had launched the new electronic National ID cards with multiple functions and achievement of Global Vendor Certificate Programme (GVCP) Certification.
Aziz said that the next step for the commission would be the achievement of the presidential directive on harmonization and consolidation of biometric data into the national identity database.
He said that the commission would soon commence the enforcement of the mandatory use of NIN and issue directives to banks to accept NIN as a valid means of identification.