Immediate past Director General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Chris Onyemenam, has explain that the specific value proposition that flows from the NIMS cuts across the three tiers of government as well as the private sector adding that the commission in the last eight years achieved a paradigm shift with the successful implementation of the components of National Identity Management System, NIMS in the country.
Mr. Onemenam, who stated this recently in Abuja while handing over the mantle of leadership of the commission to the most senior staff member, having served for eight years as the CEO of the commission said the specific value proposition that flows from the NIMS cuts across the three tiers of government, as well as the private sector and includes the family, and even the international society.
According to him, if you take it by extension to the civil service generally, the concept of ghost workers or duplicate identities will be eliminated.
“No one can be in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, more than once, because the individual will be traced through the alignment of the ‘unique’ identities in the biometrics driven IPPS and the National Identification Number, NIN,” he said.
Expressing confidence in the current setup of the Unique Identification Scheme under the NIMS, he said what the Commission is doing is in tandem with global best practice, which says, “Uniquely identify every citizen and legal resident, in terms of ‘who you are’ and not what you are eligible to like benefit identities or what you can participate in like the Voter card, or what you are obliged to like Tax, or what you need to have like the driver’s license.”
“Therefore, the ability to create a single version of truth of the identities of individuals that will serve the entire country is what we have set up at NIMC, because the NIMS is a cross cutting platform. If you do not know people and they commit a crime, they can deny it. If someone is able to have more than one identity then they can benefit from their own acts of deception,” Onyemenam said.
According to him, “Today, advance fee fraud, popularly known as 419 is rampant because people can claim to be who they are not and still get away with it. So in terms of fighting crime, what we have done with the NIMS is an important tool for law enforcement agencies to fight crime, corruption and/or ensuring that the war against corruption succeeds, because you can’t hide from yourself after having been identified by the Commission. You can only hide for a while; you cannot refuse to pay tax and hope not to be caught somehow, not possible.”
He explained that because the enrolment on the NIMS platform covers the period from “birth to death, it would provide economic planners of the country that hardcore data about some of the socio-economic characteristics of citizens in a slightly more factual sense than what other organisation provides.”
“For instance, if you know the people in the age bracket 0-13 and you want to be able to feed them in schools, it’s a bit easier and more purposive with the NIMS because you will use the uniqueness of the identity that has been given to them, to ensure that the benefit goes to them only,” Onyemenam said, adding that the same applies to scholarships, bursaries, stipends to the unemployed.
“This is the kind of benefit that you derive from the element of non-repudiation and unique identification which make the administration of subsidies, special programmes, and general economic management or economic governance in the country more targeted and development-oriented,” he said.
He also added that the previous efforts made by the Department of National Civil Registry, DNCR, before it was taken over by the NIMC, focused on card issuance, adding the cards were issued to people aged 18 years and above as if they are the only citizens who were entitled to being identified.


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