President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transfer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
A statement issued on Monday and signed by the spokesperson to the Minister of communications and digital economy, Uwa Suleiman said the approval for the transfer was based on Buhari’s consideration for the critical role of NIMC towards the realisation of the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
The statement also said the identity commission was moved to the ministry in an effort to ensure that synergy and effective ministry supervisory mechanism is put in place to coordinate, monitor and track the progress of the Federal Government’s digital transformation initiatives.
It would be recalled that NIMC is mandated to create, manage, maintain and operate the National Identity Database established by the NIMC Act, 2007.
In an effort to realise this, the Commission has so far registered around 41 million eligible enrollees for the National Identity Number (NIN).
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the other hand has details of over 191 million mobile subscribers.
Furthermore, the National Information Technology Development Agency has recorded huge successes in the development and implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), the country’s first codified data protection regulation.
The agency has also reached an advanced stage on the implementation of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI). Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) also provides services to Government Agencies – Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service.
“The need therefore for NIMC, NCC, NITDA and GBB to work closely together under the supervision of one ministry towards harnessing what has already been achieved cannot be overemphasized”, the statement said.
The NIN, considered as a social security as well as civil number, is very important for economic planning and social intervention.
With Federal Government’s digitalization initiatives in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, access to services and interventions will require it, according to NIMC.