National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, and Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, have agreed to commence enforcement of the National Identification Number, NIN, on the new 10-year validity e-passport.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had on January 15, while unveiling the newly enhanced e-passport with a 10-year validity, directed that the NIN, which is issued by the NIMC, be inserted as additional data in the new passports.
Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, Muhammad Babandede, said the Federal Government has no plan on going back on the April 29 date for the integration of NIN on the new passport.
This was disclosed in a statement jointly signed by NIMC’s spokesperson, Loveday Ogbonna, and NIS spokesperson, Sunday James, yesterday. According to the statement, the enforcement was agreed upon during a courtesy call by Babandede on Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
NIMC’s DG also said the commission had upgraded its software and infrastructure to enable the generation of the NIN, in just microseconds.
“A few months ago, we had an issue that made NIN generation take up to hours and people had to come back the following day. However, right now, it is instantaneous and that is the way we intend to maintain the system.
“The type of Automated Biometric Identification System, ABIS, we utilize makes sure that the NIN is unique –that is our only job. This means that unlike in the past, the NIN is issued instantly to successful enrollees into the NIDB (National Identity Data Base),” he said.
Mr Babanede, however, commended the NIMC for the upgrade which has resulted in an instant and timely allocation of the NIN. He also reiterated NIS’s willingness to accommodate NIMC in all its 44 diplomatic missions abroad and 42 locations in Nigeria to ensure that all Nigerians and legal residents are enrolled in the National Identity Database.
“We are ready to provide space for you to operate in our locations to facilitate real-time online, integration. If an immigration officer touches the computer, he should be able to connect to NIMC real time online, get the number, so that he can issue a passport.” Mr Babandede said.
The Immigration Comptroller general also expressed optimism for the collaboration, as a test run carried out by the NIS with 1,000 NIN samples to match with 1,000 biometric visas yielded a success rate of 89.4% which means it is good and that Nigerians are providing accurate information.
He also assured that both agencies would continue to work together to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in the process. The DG, NIMC, also showered encomiums on the NIS for their relentless commitment to fulfilling the Commission’s mandate.
He reiterated that for the next three years, NIMC will concentrate on the issuance of the NIN. The NIN is similar to the social security number and it is generally acceptable by agencies like the NIS, to issue their token.