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NIMC’s database enrolment speed can’t lead Nigeria to anywhere—Banjo

Leading database and systems coding expert, Dr. Ganiyu Banjo has described the performance and speed of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in delivering a standard biometric and multipurpose database on every Nigerian as unacceptable and very disappointing in this get age of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

In an interview, he told Business Hilights that he was disappointed to hear that since its inception, it has only managed to register about 14 million Nigerians in the national identity database.

He said “Part of the major challenges Nigeria is suffering stems from lack of a national database for proper planning for infrastructure delivery”.

“The problem of every agency and corporate body struggling to build her own database is simply because NIMC failed to rise to its responsibilities over the years.

He said “To some of us in data generation and management, we are not so pleased with the speed of the agency and that is why several data related matters in Nigeria are always a challenge and easy way for fraudulent action.

“Ordinarily, the issue of Bank Verification Number (BVN) ought not to have come up if we have a credible database. Not only BVN, there would not have been series of challenges in getting Drivers’ Licence, International Passports, even vehicle particulars if NIMC had been up and doing in her responsibilities.

Latest figure of captured Nigerians as at December 2016 stood at a paltry level of 14 million.

An embarrassing statistics disclosed by the general manager Corporate Communication of the agency, Chika Lovesday showed in three years, that is between 2012 and 2015 the commission was able to enrol slightly over 7million.

He added that the objective since Engineer Aliyu Aziz, the new Director General,  took over was to enrol 70 million Nigerians in the database, but for limited resources.

Chika however noted that “We budgeted for 70 million, so far we are able to meet a significant figure. Right now we have about 14 million enrolment into the database from the slightly over 7million within one year.”

“7 million is in addition to what we had before, since we started enrolment in 2012. From 2012 to 2015 when we came in, we had slightly over 7 million.”

Explaining more on the poor delivery of the agency, the official identified funding and power as major problem to achieving its goals said these have become major factors affecting the effective function of the commission.

NIMC added further that out of the 774 local governments in the country, the commission has only been able to access 470 LGAs adding that electricity is crucial to carrying out its duties effectively in these locations.

 “Our main challenge, I will say is power. When you compare us to what our sister agencies are doing we discovered that INEC is in every ward not just in the local government during the elections, they are in every ward because they have materials to work with.

“It is not just enough to say that we are in a place and put signboard, yet are not working. We have to be in that place with what will make us work.”

In his submission, Banjo called on the federal government to reasonably raise the yearly budgetary allocation to NIMC so that the dream of the government and Nigerians in achieving a credible national database will be a reality as soon as possible.