New Telegraph

$430m project: World Bank sets 148m NIN target for Nigeria

115m female, children must be enrolled by 2024

To be counted as successful in the on-going Digital Identification for Development (ID4D) project being supervised by the World Bank and financed by other global bodies, Nigeria must have issued National Identity Number (NIN) to 148 million of its citizens by June 2024. New Telegraph gathered through the bank’s document on the project that this performance indicator, among others, would determine the full release to the country of the $430 million earmarked for the project. According to the World Bank document, Nigeria, as of May this year, had issued 36.9 million NIN.

This means that the National Identity Management Commission (NIN) must issue NIN to additional 111.1 million Nigerians in the next four years. NIMC had repeatedly identified poor funding as the bane of the identification project in Nigeria, leading to slow-paced data capturing and low NIN database.

The Director-General of NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz, had recently disclosed that the commission currently registers 500,000 monthly citing inadequate funding as a major constraint to achieving its target.

However, the ID4D project is expected to help the country fast-track the process through special funding. The project is being financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $115 million and co-financing of US$100 million from the French Agency for Development and $215 million from the European Investment Bank. The World Bank in the document indicated that as of September 30, 2020, IDA had released its $115 million commitment. While it described the country’s progress towards achieving the target of the project as ‘satisfactory,’ the World Bank listed other targets to include the issuance of NIN to at least 65 million female Nigerians by June 1, 2024, as well as 50 million NIN to children under 16 years of age by same date.

Besides, the bank said the country must have begun digital registration and issuance of NIN at birth with a target of 100,000 babies already issued the number by June 1, 2024. Other performance indicators set for the country include the development of pro-poor functional public and private services employing the foundational ID system for the purpose of authentication and service delivery; NIN enrolments in rural areas; government personnel trained in best practices for legal and regulatory enabling environments for foundational ID, including privacy and data protection, all of which must have been achieved by June 2024.

Part of the project’s requirements also make it mandatory for the country to develop “a legal and regulatory framework that adequately protects individuals’ personal data and privacy.” This, an industry analyst said, was the reason the Federal Government had recently come up with a draft Bill for the establishment of a Data Protection Commission in the country through the Data Protection Bill 2020.

The Executive Bill, which is currently being subjected to expert review, is expected in the current National Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), which was developed by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to protect Nigerians against data abuse.

The World Bank stated that the objective of the Digital Identification for Development Project for Nigeria was “to increase the number of persons with a national ID number, issued by a robust and inclusive foundational Identification (ID) system that facilitates their access to services.” The project, according to the World Bank, has four components which include strengthening the legal and institutional framework component that will finance the reform of the ID legal, regulatory, and institutional framework.

“Establishing a robust and inclusive foundational ID system component will support the harmonisation of existing functional ID systems and the establishment of a digital foundational ID platform that issues free of charge a unique national ID number (NIN) as an identity credential to all persons in Nigeria as well as Nigerians living abroad. “Component 2 comprises the following subcomponents and activities: Subcomponent 2.1: Reinforcing the National Identity Management System (NIMS).

This subcomponent will reinforce deduplication capacity at NIMC, back-end systems, telecommunications links, and human resources, as well as the development of specifications for key systems. (Subcomponent 2.2: Reinforcing the foundational ID ecosystem. This subcomponent will support the foundational ID system’s capacity to deliver NINs at birth as part of the birth registration process through links with a digitized Civil Registration (CR),” the World Bank stated.

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