By Precious Adi
Chris Onyemenam, Director General of The National Identity Management Commission has confirmed that production of national identification cards has begun. Onyemenam, said that the organisation had also achieved the personalisation of the identity cards.
He said, “We were told that personalisation of cards was not possible. However, I am happy to report that we have now achieved the personalisation of cards. The card carries chips that can be used to effect banking transactions.
“The personalisation of cards also means that it can be verified. If a card claims to represent a person, it can be taken to the backend to verify the details of the person that it identifies. There is a database on which the details can be verified. This means that the card cannot be forged.”
He said that although the agency had planned to start the issuance of the identity cards to those that had enrolled this month, but that it will no longer because it has not been done in the formal way.
He said “The President is the first person that should be issued a card.”
NIMC had in April 2013 deployed equipment for the registration of citizens eligible for the issuance of identity cards in pilot registration centres. It has since been expanding the registration centres across the country.
Onyemenam said “the agency was now recording more than 100,000 enrolments a day, and efforts were on to ensure that the exercise covered the 774 local government areas in the country.”
The NIMC was established by the NIMC Act of 2007 to take over the functions, assets and liabilities of the Department of National Civil Registration, which handled the tainted identity registration process.
The NIMC is charged with the responsibilities of registering every individual in Nigeria, establishing and maintaining a national identity database as well as issuing of unique identification numbers to citizens and a general multi-purpose identity card.