From Adanna Nnamani
The Nigeria Digital ID4D project says it is developing mechanisms to facilitate easier biometric data capturing for marginalised groups and persons with disabilities.
The Nigeria Digital ID4D is a project, jointly funded by the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and the French Development Agency to increase the number of persons with a National Identity Number (NIN), issued by a robust and inclusive foundational Identity system, that facilitates their access to services.
Speaking at a one-day roundtable with liaison/desk officers of the project’s ecosystem implementing partners in Abuja, its Project Coordinator, Solomon Odole, said: “The Nigeria Digital ID4D is genuinely interested in promoting inclusion of marginalised groups because of the realisation that historically, ID systems often lead to exclusion due to logistics and social stigma which may hinder the participation of women and persons with disability.”
He also said the project will promote transparency and accountability, participation, grievance redress and regular monitoring to improve operational performance and mitigation of identified social risks as regards the NIN.
“The project is designed to support the grievance redress system of the National Identity Management Commission, by which it responds to queries or clarifications, resolves problems with implementation and effectively addresses complaints and grievances for project beneficiaries and ecosystem partners.
“The aim of the project is to strengthen the foundational ID system, and in the process, improve national data protection, bolster Nigeria’s digital economy and close the inclusion gaps in access to identification and related key services, while fostering inclusion for marginalised groups, such as persons living with disability, the rural poor, etc,” he added.
Odole also explained that the idea of desk officers was to ensure a single point of contact with each of the ecosystem implementing partners, to ensure that their partners do not miss out on any important step in the project implementation.
While speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Aliyu Aziz, said any reports of the Commission’s system being down are false and only targeted at discrediting it.
According to the DG, who was represented by NIMC Director Database, Mr Olufemi Fabunmi, the Commission’s system has never been down. He also said NIMC has never lost any data in its custody in all the years it has been operating.
“One of the basic things that happen is service failure in connectivity between the people demanding for service, like the Immigration and our office and most times, what we found out is the message displayed on the application seems to be like a conspiracy just to discredit NIMC.
“Most times the problem is from that service provider that is supposed to get to NIMC. In the train situation, we discovered that the internal network of the service provider for Nigeria Railway Corporation was not communicating and they said the NIMC server is down. Meanwhile, other people are using the service
“For the years we have been operating we have never lost data. If for any reason we call some people to come back and register, that’s when you say we have lost data. Our backup system has covered that and our systems are designed for high availability,” he stated.