NIMC: cashless Nigeria needs NIMS
GOVERNMENT| 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
NCA cushions consumers from future interconnection hikesThe Ghana National Communication Authority (NCA) has revealed that in order to safeguard consumers from interconnection price hikes, it has enforced that operators maintain their current rates from now until January 2018 in spite of operations of the Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) in Ghana. Read More
Microsoft, Johannesburg to train a million on digital literacyJohannesburg, South Africa, has become the first African city to close a workforce development deal of to train a million disadvantaged residents on digital literacy skills that include Microsoft Office. Read More
NITDA’s Taraba Smart City project receives global recognitionThe Jalingo City’s Smart IDP Tracking and Monitoring project, designed and implemented under the NITDA Nigeria Smart City Initiative, has won global recognition. Read More
NCA Chairman calls for strong ties between Africa’s telecom regulatorsThe Chairman of Ghana’s National Communications Authority, Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, has emphasised the need for regulatory bodies in the African telecommunications industry to close ranks to ensure a stronger collaborations. Read More
Cybercrooks steal N127b annually in Nigeria, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s ComTech Minister, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has lamented that Nigeria loses N127 billion annually to cyber thieves, warning that if it is not addressed, it posed a great deal of threat to the national economy. Read More
Nigeria's ComTech minister restates need for ICT UniversityNigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has restated the need for the establishment of an ICT University in Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa. Read More
Nigeria tax chief to go after telcos, othersThe Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, has said the focus of the service this quarter, was to recoup taxes owed by telecoms firms, airlines, and deposit money banks (DMBs). Read More
NCA to mark 20th anniversary with Symposium on RegulationsGhana’s National Communications Authority is set to hold a two day symposium in Accra as part of events to mark its 20th anniversary as a regulator. Read More
NCC pays N1.4 tr into Federation Account, says DambattaThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has paid over N1.4 trillion to the Federation Account, the CEO of the regulatory body, Prof Garba Dambatta has said. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.