NIMC: cashless Nigeria needs NIMS

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: Chris Onyemenam . By NIMC
Chris Onyemenam

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Nigeria BVN deadline looms

Bank customers in Nigeria are reported to be rushing to register for their biometric banking ID as the deadline for the BVNs looms. Read More

Young entrepreneurs in Rwanda told to be more creative

The latest YouthKonnekt Hangout hosted by Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in partnership with UNDP, ADMA, Tigo, and HeHe Labs, has urged young entrepreneurs to be innovative. Read More

Jumia gets visit from Côte d’Ivoire Minister

Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Post and Information and Communication Technology, Bruno Kone, has paid a visit to the offices of e-commerce firm Jumia. Read More

African heads of state to participate in TGAIS

Five heads of state have already confirmed their participation in the 2015 Global African Investment Summit.  Read More

Francis Wangusi reappointed CAK DG

The Board of the Communications Authority of Kenya has announced the appointment of Francis Wangusi as the Director General for a term of four years, effective 22 August 2015. Read More

NIN mandatory from September 1, says NIMC

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has put 1st September, 2015 as the date from which all transactions involving the identification of individuals must be done with the National Identification Number (NIN). Read More

Minister encourages young innovators

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, has encouraged young innovators in Rwanda to be driven by passion. Read More

NCC, Cameroon telecoms regulator seal deal

Banking on the vast experience of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a foremost regulator in Africa, the Telecommunication Regulatory Board (TRB) of Cameroun at the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NCC. Read More

African leaders commend NEPAD’s role in Africa’s transformation and regional integration

African leaders gathered at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa for the 33rd NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation meeting have commended NEPAD on its work toward regional integration. Read More

Rwanda Open Data Policy in the offing

Open Data has got enormous potential to spur innovation and creativity, delegates heard at the Rwanda Open Data Policy Consultative Workshop. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Business expands partnership with Samsung to offer enterprise customers increased security

Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced that MTN Business has been appointed as a reseller of Samsung’s KNOX licenses to its customers.