The National ID Card scheme will boost financial inclusion-Barr Chris Onyemenam, DG/CEO NIMC


January 22nd,2014 Thursday 3.00pm/

Nigeria’s quest to boost its financial inclusion index from the present 20% received huge prospects as the DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission Barr Chris Onyemenam affirmed that the National ID card scheme will deepen it.

He was speaking at a presentation he made at the January edition of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, focusing on the topic ‘Economic and Security implications of the National ID card scheme, on the Business environment.

The development and transformation of any nation, is incomplete if it does have a robust, viable and effective identity management system, which was why the NIMC was established to achieve that mandate for Nigeria.

Barr Onyemenam used the occasion to recall that the World Bank initially felt the National ID card project was a ‘bottomless pit’ for funding, only to now discover that since the inception of the commission in 2009, the digital toolkit deployed aligns with the international banks template.

Elaborating on the value of the  developed ID cards, Barr Onyemenam stated that unlike other cards that are foundational in terms of only database, the NIMC card is functional providing a payment provision that enables transactions on the ATM, POS and even offline transactions.

This he said informed  the engagement of a notable foreign payment platform company ‘Mastercard’ platform, saying  local companies where given the opportunity to bid, but did not take advantage of it.

He believed the Automated Biometric Identity System(ABIS) factored into the NIMC National ID card will when fully implemented curb the crime rate in the country and other related corrupt practices.

From a global comparison level the NIMC boss said he was challenged by India, that has through its Identity management system captured 600ml people, While Nigeria has so far captured 5 million .

At the moment the commission is presently in  404 L.G.As of the federation, carrying out the registration process with the infrastructure support of the Galaxy backbone.

On the security level, especially with the wave of cyber crimes in the country, the dynamic administrator assured stakeholders that the card has about 19 features which are specifically designed to wade off leakages that hackers will like to capitalize on.

Addressing the issues of duplicity in the area  of identity management like the BVNs(Telcos) and SIM registration (Telcos), Barr Onyemenam stated that the NIMC card was connected to 14 government agencies, while it had 18 institutions on its board.

He however raised as a major challenge the lack of synergy between the commission and related agencies(like NCC, CBN)that  are seemingly duplicating its function, stressing that harmonization of the process will go a long way in ensuring that Nigerians experience a seamless identity management process.

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