President Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday, launched the issuance of the national electronic Identity Card (e-ID Card), directing the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to work with relevant agencies towards ensuring its use for speedy payment of salaries and pension.
Performing the formal launch inside the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, Jonathan described the realisation of the roll out of the National Identity Management System (NIMS) exercise as a milestone.
He directed the NIMC to immediately complement the efforts of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) and Pensions Department, by ensuring that federal civil servants and pensioners were enrolled and issued their cards promptly, so that the e-ID and the secure payment platform could both facilitate speedy and safe payment of salaries and pensions.
The president regretted that lack of proper identification had prevented Nigerians from benefitting from government’s subsidies, which he observed were hijacked by those who turn round to mobilise the people to riot against government.
Jonathan also ordered that the identity authentication and verification services that were in pilot phase, should immediately be further extended to other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and be made available at the airports and other border posts for enhanced security checks.
Also, he said the NIMC should ensure that all registrable persons, as provided for in Section 16 of the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 were enrolled into the National Identity Database and that all government Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) involved in data capture activities must align their activities, with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.
While directing that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) should also ensure compliance immediately, the president noted that the regime of duplication of biometric data bases must now give way to harmonisation and unification with the e-ID scheme as the primary data base.
He added: “Proliferation and duplication of efforts is neither cost effective nor security-smart. It is important to remove obstacles that may impede the NIMC from the discharge of its constitutional functions and statutory obligations.
“The NIMC must now focus all its energy on ensuring that the remaining two components of the NIMS roll out; identity authentication, verification, alignment and in particular, switching over by the MDAs through the harmonisation and integration framework are deployed without fail.”
Jonathan assured that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, would oversee that funding requirements as budgeted were met and matched with appropriate delivery by the commission, adding “it is important to ensure that this e-ID card issuance process, proceeds smoothly and that all MDAs, and indeed, the private sector, can benefit from its designed functionalities, as soon as possible.”
The president further observed that “following successful local and international tests, the e-Card scheme has now finally taken off. It is important that the commission’s ongoing efforts at ensuring local content capacity in the card body production process is sustained with the same zeal as the meticulous rechecks of ensuring payment functionality, in compliance with international best practice.
“Such high standard will help create economic and employment opportunities, consistent with our commitment to national transformation.” – Nigerian Tribune