The Federal Government has disclosed that the National Identity Management Commission will enroll about 2.5 million people monthly for the next three years.
It is expected that an additional 100 million people will be registered within this three-year period.
This was disclosed in the National Development Plan 2021-2025 launched by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
According to the plan, identity management has been a major issue for previous administrations. However, the current regime is addressing this challenge through the NIN-SIM linkage currently ongoing in the country.
It read in part “Identity management has remained a tasking issue for several administrations. There is paucity of data despite several agencies collecting identity data for their operations in Nigeria. The latest of these is the Nigerian Communications Commission linking SIM Registration Data to the National Identity Number Database.
“NIMC plans to register an additional 100 million people in three years and has embarked on a massive registration drive. The plan is to enroll 2.5 million people monthly for the next three years.”
This three-year projection means that the government will likely keep extending the deadline for linking the national identity number to the subscriber identity module and give more Nigerians an opportunity beyond the end of this year.
In October, the government had extended the deadline for NIN-SIM data verification to the end of 2021, stating that 66 million unique NIN enrolments have been captured.
By December, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, disclosed that as of December 10, 2021, over 70 million unique national identity number enrolments have been recorded.
According to the minister, the number of enrolments recorded moved from 40 million in September 2020 to over 70 million as of December 10, 2021, showing an increase of over 30 million in slightly over a year period.
The Director-General of the National Identity Management Agency, Aliyu Aziz, had disclosed that the agency projected over 200 million enrolments in the national identity database.
This showed that the NIMC has achieved only 35 per cent of its target, which it might not still achieve in the next three years.
Data from a table in the National Development Plan 2021-2025 puts the share of Nigerians and resident foreigners with NIN at about 15 per cent, with the plan to record 90 per cent by 2025.
In an earlier Punch report, it was disclosed that the federal government plans to introduce a digital token comprising 16 alphabets and numbers to replace the current 11-digit National Identity Number effective January 2022.
As such, the Federal Government plans to make illegal and a punishable offence any company or agency found storing or verifying the 11-digit National Identity Number.
Attempts to get a comment from NIMC’s Spokesman, Kayode Adegoke, on Tuesday proved abortive as he neither responded to calls nor a text message.