Chris Onyemenam, the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), in an interview on Monday says plans are underway to harmonize its database with that of National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
He explained that the partnership was to ensure complete synergy with the PENCOM, noting that NIMC’s core mandate is identity management.
”The major reasons for identity theft and fraud-related activities in the country are the lack of record keeping.
”Over the decades, Nigeria didn’t have an identity database, which made identity theft and fraud very common among Nigerians.”
According to him, a lot of people are known to have multiple identities, which they use to perpetrate fraudulent acts.
”This is costing the pension industry, the banking industry and the like, hundreds of millions of naira annually.
”It informs the need for a central database to check the number of times people change their names and identities”, he said.
The NIMC boss explained that with the National Identity Database now in place, every individual who enrolled into the database, would not be able to alter his data for criminal intentions.
”When the details are captured, they are stored against the individual’s biometrics and headshot.
”This means that the same details can be referred to with the help of the National Identification Number (NIN).
”Cases of ghost workers, falsification of age and names, fraud, identity theft, etc will be eliminated with such a centralized identity database, replete with biometric information,” he noted.
Also speaking ,Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, the Director-General of PENCOM, said that there was the need for both organisations to collaborate.
”PENCOM is a sister organisation to NIMC, and where we are now is a clear indication that we are working towards the same goal.
”PENCOM is poised to serve not only the pensioners of today but the contributors to the various pension funds who are pensioners of tomorrow.
”There has always been a great need for proper identification and verification in the pension industry to ensure little or no case of identity theft.
”It’s a good thing that NIMC and PENCOM are poised to make a positive impact and contribute to the country’s economy and development.’’
Anohu-Amazu described the idea of collaborating with NIMC as a “fabulous idea’’.
”There has been a fundamental need for a foundation identity database which all the agencies and private organisations can fall back on at any given time.
”We are, therefore, glad that NIMC has put such structure on ground,” she said
She explained that though PENCOM was mandated by law to run its own functional database, it would ensure that the commission remained in harmony with the foundation database of NIMC.
”PENCOM has regularly engaged and will continue to engage NIMC to ensure that we are in complete synergy.
”While managing PENCOM’s functional database, we strive to continually take cue from NIMC’s expertise in identity management and we are indeed excited about the future as we continue to partner,” the director-general said.