The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has disclosed that the issuance of the physical national identity card would be suspended for the next three years while all efforts will be geared towards the issuance of National Identification Number (NIN) and e-ID cards to the citizens.
This was stated by the Director General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz during his keynote address at the 27th Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) National Conference held in Ibadan.
He explained that NIMC focus for the next three years via the Ecosystem is to populate the National Identity Database (NIDB) and issue the NIN while issuing the National e-ID Cards to successful enrollees.
According to Aziz, the NIN is similar to the United State (US) Social Security Number. Therefore focus will be on the number, not the card.
As a move towards digital inclusion, Aziz posited that we all live in a digital economy world, but unfortunately Nigeria is the only nation that does not know its own citizen.
He stated that this is largely due to our culture builds.
“Access to the internet is unevenly distributed among the Nigeria population”, Aziz said.
Aliyu Aziz however noted that in order to bridge the digital divide, it is important for the government to implement digital inclusion strategies based on provision of technical infrastructure, awareness, training initiatives, easy access to hardware and software for citizens, digital content development and digitally relevant services such as e-goverance.
In addition, he also revealed that, the proportion of young people age 15- 24 using the internet (71%) is significantly higher than the proportion of the total population using the internet.
“Knowing how to read and write is no longer sufficient to be literate in the 21st Century.
“We are living through one of the greatest inflexion point in history and three largest forces are at play on the planet”, Aziz noted.
He listed the determinant forces to include technology, Globalization and climate change.
“These forces are really accelerating and shaping the face of the economy and history, therefore every barrier to digital inclusiveness must be bridged.
” We should care about digital inclusion – it’s a much bigger, more complex, critical problems and issues regarding how the allocation of information and knowledge, political power and opportunity is defining the evolving society of the 21st century.
Beyond the term ‘digital’ inclusion are issues about quality of life, democracy, exclusion and who get what and when “, Aliyu Aziz pointed out.