The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, has urged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to fast-track the registering of Nigerians and the issuance of National Identity Number, rather than the card.
Gen. Dambazau made the call when he received in his office, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission, Engr Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, and his team, who visited to issue him his national identity card.
While emphasizing the importance of having a National Identity Number (NIN), he urged Nigerians to de-emphasize the necessity of having the card, and concentrate rather on the Number, as the Number is the major element for proper identification, because “the Number is yourself; it is your identity; it tells everything about you”.
Gen. Dambazau urged the Commission to ensure that all Nigerians, at home and abroad, are registered and given the Number.
The Minister asserted that the National Identity Number takes precedence over the National Identity card, as while the card is merely for photo identification, the number is for digital identification and would be stored in a data base, to be tapped into by other relevant government organisations, as required.
Earlier, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Identity Management Commission, Engr Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, noted that fund was the major challenge militating against the production of cards for citizens.
He asked for the indulgence of Nigerians as the NIMC has put machinery in place to deliver on card production and distribution to the enrollee.
The Director-General however said citizens needed to be weaned off the clamour for cards, because the major element in identification is the number.
He disclosed that the Commission has recorded18.5 million entries in their data base since the inception of the exercise.