Towards ensuring complete digital transformation, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transfer of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
As stated, the move was in line with the apex government’s commitment to ensuring synergy and effective ministry supervisory mechanism was put in place to coordinate, monitor, and track the progress the administration’s digital transformation initiatives.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, said that the approval was based on Buhari’s consideration for the critical role of NIMC towards the realization of the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
Through a statement released to newsmen on Monday by the Minister’s Spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, Pantami maintained that the approval underscores President Buhari’s confidence in the ministry and its performance since he came on board.
“Regularisation of improperly registered SIM cards and deactivation of unregistered ones, the deployment of over 250 digital projects across the country under his policies and supervision as well as built the capacity of over 36,000 Nigerians.
“It may be recalled that NIMC is mandated to create, manage, maintain and operate the National Identity Database established by the NIMC Act, 2007. In an effort to realise this, the Commission has so far registered around 41 million eligible enrollees for the National Identity Number (NIN). The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the other hand has details of over 191 million mobile subscribers,” the statement said.
She, however, explained that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) had recorded huge successes in the development and implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), the country’s first codified data protection regulation.
He added that the approval became imperative to ensure NIMC, NCC, NITDA, and GBB work together under the supervision of one ministry towards realizing the digital transformation drive.
“The NIN, considered as social security as well as civil number, was very important for economic planning and social intervention.
“With the government’s digitalisation initiatives in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, access to services and interventions will require it.
“We, therefore, urge all eligible individuals to enroll as soon as possible. Furthermore, the minister is assuring Nigerians as well as residents that appropriate measures will be put in place to ensure that opportunities for enrolment are provided to all,” the statement said.