A Robust Identity Management System With Quality Data Is Key For Every Emerging Economy-NCC,EVC

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As we are aware, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030) launched in December 2O19, was developed to reposition the Nigerian Economy in order to unlock the many opportunities that digital technologies provide towards the diversification of the   Nigerian economy and to transform Nigeria into a leading global digital economy.

This statement above was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta while address participants as the chief host  at a webinar organized by the  Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) in collaboration with regulator,NCC

He further  explained the reason behind granting of the National Identity Number (NIN) enrolment licenses to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, reports

The NCC boss, Prof Umar  Danbatta, said it was for the ease of citizen enrolment and linkage of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) to NIN.

The webinar with the theme “Citizens Identity Management in a Digital Economy: The Role of Telecommunications Service Providers” Danbatta disclosed that National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) licenses to MNOs paved the way for the operators to engage in direct enrolment of subscribers for NIN at their customer service centres.

“This has led to the deployment of over 1,500 NIN enrolment outlets by MNOs, with over 1 million citizens enrolled directly at MNO service centres as at date.

The NIN policy for SIM registration, Danbatta said, is perhaps the most effective driver of NIN enrolment and the development of a credible digital identity database.

“It may interest us to note that 37 per cent of NIN enrolments recorded during the 8 years since NIN enrolment commenced was accomplished by leveraging the telecoms industry. Since commencement of the NIN policy in the Telecommunications Industry, we have witnessed tremendous growth in NIN enrolment from 40 million in December 2020 to over 63 million as at August 2021 (i.e. 23 million citizens enrolled in the past 9 months),” he said.

Although NIN penetration currently stood at 29.7% of the population, Danbatta pointed out that with the deployment of the Android Enrolment solution by NIMC, “we expect rapid growth of MNO NIN enrolment centres which will translate to exponential growth in NIN enrolments. This bodes well for the actualization of a robust digital identity database and the growth of the digital economy in Nigeria.”

The EVC stressed that the target is to achieve about 65 per cent NIN penetration in the coming months in order to unlock the economic potentials of the digital economy.
“We are aware that vast resources have been deployed by MNOs to facilitate the accelerated growth of the national identity database. We must therefore commend you for your collaboration and contributions towards the milestones achieved thus far with regards to NIN enrolment and those that will be achieved going forward,” he said.
Danbatta assured that NCC will continue to guide and support the Industry by providing the necessary regulatory frameworks to ensure the growth of the digital identity and digital economy ecosystem.

Also speaking at the Virtual forum, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami stated  broadband is  the bedrock of the digital economy.

Pantami who was represented by the Director General of the National Identity Management Commission NIMC, Dr Aliyu Aziz,  mentioned that Nigeria lacks a proper addressing system and a backlog of citizens are yet to be registered adding that, Although the government came up with a road map of the role of NCC and telecoms, it hasn’t been very effective.

furthermore, Over 150 countries now require identification for the purchase of SIM Cards. Data efficiency and a richer customer profile are required to prompt loyal and stronger relationships, ultimately simplifying access to services.

“We believe that with broadband, smartphones, virtual access and digital identity, there will be no limit for us in this market,” Pantami said.

He added that as the economy is going digital, there are huge opportunities that should be grabbed without limit.

“Digital transformation has been adopted in all sectors including transportation, education, financial inclusion and other sectors.

“Nigeria needs to leverage this digital transformation as a reliable tool for sustainable development across the country.

“Identity management goes beyond the figures. We need to manage it in such a way that cybercriminals will be totally shut out.

Earlier in his welcome address, Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of ALTON, said that all hands must be on deck to ensure the target to achieve 65% NIN penetration in the coming months is attained in order to unlock the economic potentials of the digital economy.

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