• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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NIMC working with Immigration to fast-track passport issuance – DG

NIMC working with Immigration to fast-track passport issuance – DG

By Ladi Patrick-Okwoli

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has given an update on the National Identification Number (NIN) data sharing, saying it is working with the Nigeria Immigration Service to ensure seamless issuance of the passport.

Abisoye Coker-Adesote, the director-general of NIMC, who stated this while responding to questions from journalists recently in Abuja, noted that the server glitches have been rectified.

BusinessDay reports that many Nigerians were unable to use their NIN for electronic passport applications and other things for several months.

She noted, “What we are trying to do at NIMC is to ensure that we increase enrolment and also integrate and harmonise all the databases in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that have been operating in silence for so many years.

“We want to ensure that there is a central database that would have all the information of citizens stored on it. It will save a lot of time and half the processing time for everything you want to do.”

Coker-Odusote noted that the capacity of the current database was almost exhausted and efforts are ongoing to expand it to cover 250 million unique NINs for adults.

She said, “We have started work to upgrade the capacity across all boards from the network infrastructure perspective to software licensing areas. We are working to increase the capacity that we have. We are trying to ensure that we increase it from 100 million to 250 million.”

She said the upgrade process will take a minimum of six to nine months.

“If, for example, you are going to apply for a passport, the information gotten from NIN is what would be used to issue that passport. We are already working with the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“You put in your NIN on their portal and your information is called up, your bio-data then auto-fills the fields. If there is a second layer of information required by Immigration, you will then complete the form with that information, but it will auto-fill the initial information which means you will not spend a long time imputing all the information that you have.

“For instance, your information would be used at the driver’s licence offices and hospitals. It will be used to access any education care that has been put in place or intervention programmes, that is what we want. That is what we want to see.”

The NIMC boss said, “Another thing that we are doing is biometric verification. We will get to the point where all the biometric information will be done by NIMC so that they (other agencies of the government) are also able to call up that information and then update their forms electronically.

She lamented that a lot of the commission’s equipment were outdated and needed to be replaced or upgraded.

When asked about the current capacity of the database, she noted that although the number of NINs recorded exceeds 100 million which is the capacity of the database, some of the data are for children, not adults, and certain data like fingerprints are not collected from children.