The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the recognition and observance of September 16 of every year as National Identity Day in a move to create awareness on the importance of identification as a modern tool for national development and social cohesion.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha conveyed the government’s approval in a letter dated August 29, 2019 and addressed to the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz, a statement by the commission said.
The letter which was signed on the SGF’s behalf by the Director, Planning, Research & Statistics in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Gende, said that Nigeria “should join the Coalition for International Identity Day”.
The letter reads in part: “I am to inform you that the SGF has considered and approved (i) that Nigeria should join the Coalition for International Identity Day, which will recognise the role of identity management for proper planning, governance and efficient service delivery;
“(ii) that the National Identity Management Commission should proceed with educational and awareness campaigns on the proposed identity day to other public and private sector stakeholders including institutions in the movement.”
The Director General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz said in a statement that NIMC has lined up a number of activities to formally launch Nigeria’s Identity Day on the 16th of this month to debut the edition.
He said the programme will take place in Abuja, with stakeholders from public and private sectors attending.
“The purpose of International Identity Day is to raise awareness about the important role identity plays in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society. We are delighted that Nigeria has become the first country in the world to declare September 16 as ID Day, thereby leading the rest of the world in this important direction,” he said.
He also explained that the choice of the date, 16 September, was in recognition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9 which calls for legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030.