The era of multiple ID registration may be over as the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been mandated to harmonize all ID databases in the country. Acting Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) announced this while inaugurating the board of the commission. The databases to be harmonized include SIM registration which was handled by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), voter cards which was coordinated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and drivers licence which is handled by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
The harmonization is long overdue
Merging the databases will result in cost savings, as each organization usually conducts its own form of registration with the attendant costs. Nigerians end up spending valuable time registering multiple times when the information could have been sourced from one agency.
Why the merger is good news
The absence of a comprehensive data base has hampered several commercial activities in the country. Bank loans for example are often marked up at a premium due to the absence of a verifiable data base for intending borrowers. Some states such as Lagos, have had to implement resident identification schemes, in order to create their own database.
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The NIMC came into the existence as a result of the passage of the NIMC Act of 2007. The ACT provides for the establishment of the NIMC, its functions, powers, establishment of the National Identity Database, assignment and use of General Multi-purpose cards, and the National Identification Number (NIN). The Act also provides the Commission with powers to make regulations connected with its functions. The NIMC Act 2007 provides the repeal of the law that created the former Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR) and the transfer of its assets and liabilities to the NIMC.