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NCC Tasks FG on Single Database, Identity Management

NCC Tasks FG on Single Database, Identity Management

Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has again stressed the need for the harmonisation of databases to a single database in order to strengthen the country’s identity management scheme.

According to the NCC the federal government should pay more attention to the country’s identity management system. The Director, Public Affairs, at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, who made the call while delivering a paper at a public forum, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), insisted that the existence of a central database for Nigeria, would help Nigerian citizens have easy and ready access to information, explaining that would also boost the confidence of potential investors that are interested in investing in the country, apart from addressing security issues.

There are several databases in the country but each of them is working in silos and they do not address the security needs and other needs of the country.

It is for this reason that the federal government directed at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to facilitate the harmonisation of all databases such as SIM card registration, Bank Verification Number (BVN), Driver’s Licence registration, among others.

Although NIMC has commenced the harmonisation process, the results have been slow due to logistic reasons.
Ojobo, who spoke on “Trackable Identity and Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria,” said trackable identity has become a necessity for doing business.

He said: “In spite of whatever challenges, the global trend is for all citizens to be registered, and for each citizen to be covered with a legal identity including birth registrations. Citizen registration is now an item in post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda with 2.4 billion people identified as having no official identity and these people reside in Africa and Asia.

“While traditional identification rely on passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), smart cards, and the likes, biometric identification, using finger prints and iris scans are generally more reliable and secure. They are adopted more universally like in driving licences and international passports. Biometrics identity are also more reliable in linking individuals to event and actions. It is therefore preferred by security institutions in fighting crimes.”

Ojobo used the occasion to appeal to telecoms operators in the country that are involved in Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration not to relent in the registration, stressing that they should delist lines that are not adequately captured on their databases as fast as possible.

He said should operators heed to the advice, it would save them from having any friction with NCC that could attract sanction as witnessed about two years ago.

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