NIMC: cashless Nigeria needs NIMS
GOVERNMENTBy BiztechAfrica - Aug. 8, 2012, 5:28 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
As cashless banking, financial inclusiveness and mobile payments gradually take firm root in Nigeria, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has highlighted the need for a reliable identity database and its adoption in the financial services sector to reduce fraud and improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among others.
The Director-General of Commission, Chris Onyemenam was speaking at the Nigerian Computer Society's (NCS) 24th Annual Conference at the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. According to him, for lasting success of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Policy, “there must be a reliable Identity Management system in place”.
“The National Identity Management System (NIMS) is central to the success of a cashless economy project” he said, adding that “a Universal Identification Infrastructure (UIDI) is unique, secure, accessible and reliable, recommended for identity authentication (Identification/Verification) and tying individuals to transactions (non-repudiation and with a history) as the current methods rely on two-factor identity authentication are still challenged with effectively managing identities.”
“A secure UIDI is a precondition for financial inclusion. The NIMS will tie captured biometrics and unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) of Nigerians to bank accounts, voter registers, immigration, and law enforcement agencies among others,” he said.
According to him, existing databases have not met international standards (ISO/IEC, NIST, IEEE, ICAO, etc) and they have been non-centralised, unreliable and incomplete. Also, regular updating have not been possible and there have not been centralised and irrefutable way of tying individuals to transactions until now.
He said this recommended move, if followed, would unleash in the nation the opportunity in consumer credit experienced all around the world, reduce fraud, fight terrorism, improve GDP, and create a robust and dependable identifier.
The NIMS project is an essential transformation tool for fostering socio-economic development, maintenance of law and order and security of lives and properties, he said.
He applauded the development of the Mobile Payment Services Sector (MPSS) which has achieved remarkable feats which includes the licensing of Mobile Payment Service Providers (MPSP) e.g. Pagatech, Fortis Mobile, UBA/Afripay, GTBank, eTranzact.
He said there is potential for the MPSS to play a huge role in the development of the Nigerian economy. “The Mobile Payment Service Providers (MPSP) creates employment and economic opportunities, it will stimulate consumer demand, local production and grow GDP but the need for a reliable identity management sector to drive the initiative is core,” he said.
The enhancement of the efficacy of monetary policy operations and economic stabilization measures, balanced and genuine currency transaction demands a speculative market behaviours that will in turn facilitate better currency management and helps in reducing the cost of currency management.
Onyemenam said the congruence of plans and deployment of the NIMS project is inevitable and a complementary CBN policy is essential.
“Annual debt finance is less than 65% of total loss due to identity-related fraud in banks. There is need for a deployment Strategy focused on update-able database and secure identity authentication” he said adding that the live pilot of the project commenced February 23, 2012 in FCT.
Key NIMS activities include enrollment/updates, national ID card issuance, identification and verification, reliable, secure and fast identification and verification services online and offline enrolment centers for continuous enrollment of citizens and legal residents; creation of a unique National Identity Database; generation, issuance and assignment of National Identification Numbers (NIN); Issuance of National smart Identity cards (E-ID); provision of authentication infrastructure (Back-end); Provision of authentication services; harmonization and integration of identity databases among others.
He explained that the challenges of the commission include centralising the identity authority, privacy issues especially in a cultural context, marketing the NIMS / mass appeal, stakeholder revenue model, political support and supervision, dealing with vested interests, privacy issues especially in a cultural context, and dealing with vested interests; among others.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Wireless spectrum debate heads to AfricaThe Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) will hold the world’s largest conference on wireless spectrum sharing in Accra, Ghana, in May. Read More
Commonwealth ICT Ministers agree on Cybergovernance ModelICT ministers and advisors from 35 Commonwealth countries have adopted a Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model to guide national policy development of their national cyberspace. Read More
PS of MYICT: ICT a vital utility in RwandaRwanda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Rosemary Mbabazi, has urged citizens to embrace ICT, pointing out that it is as vital as water and electricity. Read More
Lagos, Microsoft, firm up MoU on e-governmentThe Governor of Lagos State and the President of Microsoft International have firmed up the MoU they entered into last year over e-governance and other initiatives. Read More
US firm looks to construct Ghana solar parksUS-based International Solar Utilities (ISU) is conducting feasibility studies for the construction of solar parks that would add 600 megawatts of power to Ghana's electricity grid. Read More
Ghana steps up moves towards better statisticsGhana's Parliament has approved an agreement between the government and the International Development Association (IDA) for a $30-million loan and a $10-million grant to finance the Ghana Statistics Development Project. Read More
Rwanda collaborates with Facebook to boost social educationFacebook has introduced SocialEDU, a pilot initiative that will provide students in Rwanda with free access to a collaborative online education experience. Read More
Governments urged to boost Africa’s presence on the webAn appeal has been made to African governments to help boost the continent's presence on the worldwide web by submitting lists of important names for inclusion in the dotAfrica Reserved Names List (RNL) process. Read More
Rwandan President launches national ID cards as regional travel documentsRwandan President Paul Kagame has travelled to Uganda using his National ID card, officially marking the launch of an integrated system allowing National IDs, voter and student cards to be used as travel documents in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Read More
Rwanda introduces mandatory online business registrationThe Rwanda Development Board, through the Office of the Registrar General, has commenced mandatory online registration for all new businesses in Kigali. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.