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Private sector forum embraces new Identity management systems

The forum, convened under the aegis of the Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce (NACC), noted that a multi-disciplinary panel unanimously reached a consensus on several issues…

The forum, convened under the aegis of the Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce (NACC), noted that a multi-disciplinary panel unanimously reached a consensus on several issues in the new and emerging Nigerian identity industry. The issues include harmonisation and integration of disparate biometric data capturing devices in the country. Harmonisation and integration in this context involve, among other things, fibre-linked connection to relevant government agencies; centrally-warehoused national identification numbers in the databases of the agencies; secure platforms for common and standardised demographic and biometric data capture and verification procedures.
Members of the panel were drawn mainly from the Nigerian and global financial and information technology sub-sectors of the economy. These included Mr. Jaideep Ghosh, partner, KPMG Management Consult, India; and Mr. Joseph Tegbem, KPMG Management Consult, West Africa; Mr. Daniel Monehin, sub-Saharan division president of MasterCard Worldwide and Hon. Jennet Nwabueze, chairman, Ekenneth Group. Others are Mr. Gerald Ilukwe, managing director and CEO, Galaxy Backbone Plc and Dr. Boniface Chizea, prolific and highly-regarded analyst specialising on economic issues.
NACC national president, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, commended the NIMC for coming to the commercial-nerve centre of the country for the education and enlightenment of the private sector on the national identity management system (NIMS). Ohuabunwa noted that the predisposition of government agencies to limit “active engagement process” of public sector programmes to the banquet halls of Transcorp Hilton Hotel and the State House in Abuja, on the contrary, was expected to achieve “a significant buy-in” from the private sector.
Both Ohuabunwa and the special guest of honour at the forum, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, acknowledged that Nigeria had been suffering local and international embarrassment as a result of multiple identity and identity-theft-related fraud in the past. All this would however be a thing of the past now that the NIMC was putting in place the critical national infrastructure and the nation was in the process of delivering quality services in the identity management industry.
Represented by the permanent secretary in the Office of the SGF, Mr. Linus Awute, Senator Anyim said that the NIMC enjoyed strong support from topmost cadre of government. This, according to him, was a “positive development” and showed the commitment of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to the transformation agenda of government.
In his opening remarks, NIMC Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Barrister Chris Onyemenam, observed that 70 per cent of corporate transactions in Nigeria was being conducted in Lagos. Concerning financial inclusion in the country, Onyemenam told the forum that there were registration centres in NIMC state offices in all capital cities of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Efforts are being made, in partnership with the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, to establish centres in all the 774 local government offices nationwide. Additionally, mobile registration vehicles have been acquired to enable easy access to enrolment in strategic locations in the hinterlands.

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