Abuja, Sept 26, 2023: The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to invest in the harmonisation of the country’s data through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the minister, Mr Alao Babatunde, on Monday in Abuja, said the minister made the promise when he received the MTN’s management team led by its CEO, Mr
The minister said that the era of multiple ID registrations would soon be over.
Tunj-Ojo said that NIMC had been mandated to harmonise the country’s database as President Bola Tinubu seeks to enhance the country’s Identity and security architecture.
On the significance of harmonising the country’s data, Tunji-Ojo stressed the need for the country to have a tech-driven data-hub under the ministry.
“We must have an interior hub, a massive data centre where we will have all our identity information documented.
“Data harmonisation is key. If we must succeed at the Ministry of Interior, the success will start with NIMC. The integrity of our travel document must be restored through the harmonisation of our data.
“With this the way, our people do not have to repeat data capture processes during the passport enrolment phase when they have a valid NIN,” he added.
He explained that data harmonisation would drastically take off the stress on the people as well as overhead cost on the part of the government.
“When we harmonise our data, there will be an exchange amongst agencies such that when our people need data for passport or BVN, with their NIN, their data can be pulled out.
“This will not only save us the stress, cost and energy, but also help us optimise our processes.”
According to Tunji-Ojo, information regarding issuance of driving license and passports, National Identification Number (NIN), Banks Verification Number (BVN) should be harmonised into digital chips.
He added that other information, such as Subscribers Identification Module (SIM), should also be harmonised into digital chips for the purpose of planning and execution of government programmes for accelerated development.
He said that NIMC, as an agency under the ministry, has the potential of re-writing the narrative where the country only has a single point of data entry.
“There is no need for us to have a BVN number, a voter’s number, an NIN, and a passport number all at once.
“This is why we have to work with NIMC to ensure that we harmonise all these and do away with these duplications.
“If NIMC performs well, NIS will perform better, the Police, NSCDC, and other agencies will perform admirably above par,” he added.
The minister, however, pinpointed the role of the private sector players, such as MTN, in achieving the vision towards the harmonisation of data.
He added that to achieve that, there must be a way to inject private partnerships to help to achieve the desired objectives.
“For us, we are open to partnerships from private sector players, as NIMC may not have the full financial capacity to fulfil its ambition.”