The Director General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Dasuki I. Arabi, has explained that the much desired reform in Nigeria’s public service can not be attained without full integration of national digital identity.
He said there is a strong correlation between Identification and Reforms, as both are central in realizing effective delivery of important government services to the people.
Arabi was speaking at the Lunch Time Seminar organised by BPSR, held at the Main Auditorium of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja, with the theme, ‘National Digital Identity Ecosystem:Strategic Pillar for Nation Building’.
According to the DG, “The Digital Identity Ecosystem is a framework involving the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) working with public and private service providing partners to create an enabling environment for the effective and efficient mass enrollment of Nigerians and legal residents in Nigeria into a centralized, secure National Identity Database where digital identities are issued to everyone in the form of the National Identification Number (NIN).
“The purpose of the ecosystem approach is to leverage existing capabilities and enrollment facilities of government agencies, partners and private sector organisations in Nigeria, as opposed to building new ones.
“NIMC plays its main role as the custodian of the central National Identity Database and regulates all national identity matters, while citizens and legal residents now receive a broader range of enrollment and NIN collection choices via NIMC’s partner MDAs and licensed private vendors.
“The Ecosystem can also Streamline relations for corporate registrations, taxes, economic support, permits and authorization, eliminates travel costs and reduces waiting times and minimizes paperwork.
“It can also support regulatory compliance and provide fraud-secure paths for activities such as background checks, increase transparency, improve labour productivity and risk management. When fully implemented, the Ecosystem can connect identity-related services and modernize public services such as healthcare, welfare payments, passports, licenses, education and employment services.
“There is a strong correlation between Identification and Reforms, both are central in realizing effective delivery of important government services to the people. To this end, the Bureau of Public Services Reforms as part of its mandate to coordinate, monitor and evaluate reforms in order to determine the extent of achievement of reform goals of the central administrative coordinating agencies of the government as a basis for alignment and realignment, broker peace between the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and NIMC in order for JAMB to adopt NIN as a prerequisite for candidates’ registration process,” the BPSR DG explained.
On his part, the NIMC DG, Engr. Aliyu A. Aziz, said his agency has implemented a number of effective policies that have transformed the governance process to digital one as well as a unified identification system of people.
He said some of these policies include harmonisation of national identity with Bank Verification Number (BVN), mandatory use of NIN for passport application and renewal, national ID policy for SIM registration, national policy on digital ID for internally displaced persons in Nigeria and use of NIN for JAMB examination registration and sitting.
Engr. Aziz also said BPSR can help NIMC in actualising some of these mandates by promoting the participation of government agencies in the data capture services and derive mandatory use of NIN for services across government.
“A nation can not truly be a sovereign state if it does not know its people or have a unique way to identify them and it is fundamental to planning, governance and security. Without proper identity, people are excluded from basic services that provide a foundation for support,” the NIMC DG added.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Head, Strategic Communication