The National Identity Management Commission(NIMC) has said it is working hard to address challenges associated with delay in issuance of new National Identity Cards to Nigerians.
The Director-General of the commission, Aliyu Aziz, said in Abuja on Tuesday that paucity of funds was delaying production and issuance of the cards.
Aziz said the commission had been inundated with complaints about the delay and that complaints were from Nigerians who had registered long ago but were yet to be issued with their permanent identity cards.
The deputy-general, who explained that the commission has facility to register as much as three 300 million citizens in its data base, said National Identity Number (NIN) is more important than the card,stressing that NIN is a unique 11-digit number assigned to an individual upon successful enrollment into the national identity database (NIDB).
According to Aziz, it is the NIN that helps to tie all records about a person in the database and is used to check the identity verified.
“What is important is digital certification. We have always emphasised that NIN is the most important.
“So, once you have the NIN that is okay. But we are doing our best to issue the cards,” he said.
He assured that the commission is exploring avenues to expand its cope and capacity to be able to deliver faster and more efficient in meeting expectation of Nigerians.
“It is part of measures to create a comprehensive national identity database to drive national development planning and to prevent both double identity and identity fraud,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that NIMC began the enrollment exercise into the NIDB in September 2010 and started the issuance of a multipurpose card in 2013,just as it would be recalled that as at 2016, over 750,000 cards are yet to be collected, while about 300,000 cards had been collected by Nigerians.
Millions of Nigerians have been screened and issued with the temporary NIN, but have yet to receive the permanent Identity card.