DIGITAL Economy Media Support Volunteers (DEMS Volunteers), has urged the federal government to pay more attention to the workings of the National Identity Management Commission with regards to the registration for National Identification Number.

In a statement in Lagos, the Director-General of DEMS Volunteers, Prince Stan Okenwa, also commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), for suspending the use of National Identification Number (NIN), as a requirement for registration in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

He said the JAMB’s decision has saved innocent students from stress and falling prey to unforeseen NIN registration racketeers, who may have perfected plans to defraud the candidates, due to the urgency of the situation.

The Director-General added that it is also commendable that, JAMB has not ruled out the mandatory use of NIN, for 2021 UMTE registration, stressing that, such tactical intervention is, a win-win situation for JAMB, NIMC, (National Identity Management Commission) and the parents/students.

“While commending JAMB for suspending the use of NIN  as a requirement for registration, we also have our fears that NIMC may not be receiving adequate attention from the Federal Government to address the technical, human resource and other issues the Commission is currently battling with.

“It is still fresh in our minds, the statement accredited to the Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, who reportedly, said that the nation’s identity management will not succeed, unless there is, strong political commitment, on the part of the government, backed by adequate funding.

“Engr. Aliyu Aziz’s comment, on Monday, December 9, 2019, at the 6th General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council, (NTRC), held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, speaks volumes, as regards the state of things at the Commission.

He was quoted as saying that, “like any government reform, political will and strong leadership, are required to implement the national identity project.”

“Therefore, it is a no brainer that, NIMC was not going to meet up the JAMB requirement.

“Our fears were confirmed again, on Saturday, when the DG said that, they registered only about 2million supposed JAMB candidates, out of an expected 10million.

“Thus, with 1,000 registration centres, out of a supposed, (standard), 4,000 centres, the whole thing, was a trial and error process. This must be addressed, as the nation requires adequate national data and identity management, to meet up with the digital economy agenda.

While reiterating DEMS Volunteers’ readiness, to partner with NIMC to highlight the progress made in NIN registration and the challenges faced by the Commission, Prince Okenwa, further urged the Federal Government, to ensure that, NIMC increases the number of registration centres up to 10,000, by 2021, replace damaged data collection systems, or, repair faulty ones, for the smooth registration process.

“The secret of the digital economy and development planning is a credible national biometric database. This is one of the reasons that FG should increase the capacity of NIMC,” DEMS Volunteers said.


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