The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has so far harmonised 11 million out of 35 million records in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) database with the National Identity Database (NIDB).
The Deputy General Manager of the commission, Ms Uche Chigbo, disclosed this shortly before the launch of the Diaspora NIN Registration in New York.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian consulate, Chigbo said NIMC had started talks with the Nigeria Immigration Service to also harmonise its passport database with the NIDB.
To this end, she stated that discussion was also ongoing between NIMC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with regard to the voter register.
She said the essence of the harmonisation was to have an integrated and efficient data management system to enhance national planning, social security and other development activities.
Chigbo was responding to concerns raised by consulate officials and a leader of the Nigerian community in the U.S. over the Diaspora NIN registration exercise.
Mr Bello Kazeem, President of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey chapter, had asked why NIMC could not simply migrate records from the passport database into the NIDB.
“Our members here are saying that since the consulate already had their data captured for passport and BVN, you should simply migrate the information into the NIN database.
“They see no reason having to travel long distances from their various locations to New York for another biometric data capturing for NIN,’’ Bello said.
Chigbo replied, “The concern here is that the standard NIMC set for the identity system is different from the standards used for the BVN and the passport.
“So, there are certain data fields that they didn’t collect during the BVN and passport registration. So, you will still have to update that information.
“If we are able to do all of that then people do not need to keep repeating those visits for us to capture all of the data.’’
Shedding more light on this, Mr Felix Obada, Vice Chairman of the National E-Authentication Platform, said the NIN standard of data collection was higher than those of BVN and passport.
NIN complies with international standard of data collection, because they have to sign every card with a digital signature, which is a national resource called the Public Key Infrastructure.
“Nobody can break into it. Every country has just one public key infrastructure, and that code is known to only one person.
“Photographs for BVN and passport can allow a shadow in the background, but NIN doesn’t accept photos with shadows.
“So, all the lighting systems at the Diaspora NIN registration offices had to be changed to comply with these standards to guarantee security,’’ Obada said. (NAN)