The Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) has advised the Federal Government to harness technology for effective security and rapid development in the country.
The association gave the advice at a webinar, with the theme: “Harnessing Technology as a Strategic Tool for National Security and Development” on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr. Lanre Yusuf, Head, Software and Biometrics, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in his presentation said that over 100 million Nigerians had no official identity, hence the need for a strategy to enroll the backlog within the shortest time.
Yusuf said that good identification systems could help to achieve the goals of empowering individuals and enhancing their access to rights, services and the formal economy.
According to him, good identification supports multiple development goals such as access to finance, gender equality and empowerment, access to basic health and education services, child protection, among others.
Yusuf stated that the estimated population of Nigeria stands at 200 million, while the estimated annual population growth for the country is about 2.6 per cent or 5.2 million, but empirically translating to 26,039 new births in 2020.
“Between 2012 to date, only 46.7 million citizens and legal residents have been enrolled into the National Identity Database (NIDB) and issued a unique NIN at an average of 5.2 million enrolments per annum.
“At this rate, it will take a long time to enroll the remainder of the people currently living in the country today and by that time, however, about 292 million more people would have been added.”
He, however, said that the identification of all Nigerians in three to five years was targeted at children, adults, Diaspora, foreign legal residents, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and undocumented people.
In her presentation, Mrs. Nnena Ukoha, Assistant Director, Projects Department (Head of SIM Cards Registration Unit), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said that SIM card registration was designed to mitigate concerns on the challenges.
Ukoha said the challenges had to do with tracking criminal uses of telephones in the country through identity and security management.
She recalled that SIM registration began in 2011 and involved the capture of name, residential address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, among others.
Ukoha said the NIN-SIM harmonisation presents a unique opportunity for the commission to address some challenges confronting the registration from inception.
“It will address inaccuracies in subscriber data domiciled in the SIM database as well as improper registration carried out by the registration agents, thereby improving the integrity of the SIM registration database.
“It will be linked to the actual identities of the SIM user,” she said.
The Chairman of NIEEE, Mr. Ikechukwu Amalu, the host, commended the government for coming thus far with this initiative in the area of tackling security through NIN-SIM registration.
Amalu urged stakeholders to put in their best so as to come up with a framework that would help boost effective security in the country. (NAN)
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