By Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has disclosed that the federal government is working towards removing the expiry date feature from the national identity card.
He made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja during his courtesy visit to the national headquarters of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), adding that it is not good for our national identity card to expire.
“We need to review the format of the card and see how we can remove the expiry date from it. It doesn’t make sense for our digital ID card to have expiry date on it, because it’s for only the bank component of it for cashing money,” he said.
On the issue of staff welfare, he said he had met with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Finance and Minister of Budget and National Planning, and that it is a work in progress.
According to the minister, “I briefed the president on the challenges confronted by NIMC and what the government needs to do to make the commission more effective. The issue of funding-I know it is highly insufficient-and staff welfare. The NIMC is more of ICT oriented, and if you look at all other government agencies that are ICT oriented, you will agree with me that the welfare of NIMC staff is the lowest.
“Your director-general and I have discussed the issue of salary increase with the Minister of Finance which was approved by both the National Assembly and the Salaries and Wages Commission since 2017. I have forwarded your DG’s request to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.”
The Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, on his part, stated that the commission is adequately prepared to handle all the challenges that come its way with its well trained and dedicated staff, and that the staff have made a lot of sacrifices to make sure that the commission delivers on its targets.
“I want to assure you sir, that NIMC management and staff are highly dedicated and committed to the ID project of Nigeria. They have put in a lot of efforts and sacrifices over the years to deliver the identity vision even in the midst of the numerous challenges, and are still willing to work even harder to meet and surpass the recent performance targets given to us by the minister on enrolment.
“With your support and guidance, we can accelerate the delivery of a robust, inclusive and strong national identity system for Nigeria,” the NIMC boss said.