Home Local News NIMC Gets N25bn Approval From FEC To Upgrade Identity Infrastructure, Others

NIMC Gets N25bn Approval From FEC To Upgrade Identity Infrastructure, Others

NIMC Gets N25bn Approval From FEC To Upgrade Identity Infrastructure, Others
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N25 billion for the upgrade and replacement of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Identity Infrastructure.

The Minister said that the money will also be used for the implementation of novel initiatives that have increased the registration of persons to over 62 million on the National Identity Database (NIDB).

Pantami made this disclosure at the Public Presentation of the National Identity Management Commission Condition of Service.

Of reference is the mandate for me to supervise the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the approvals granted by Mr President to ensure the population of the National Identity Database (NIDB) through the issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN) to registered persons, and to scale up the identification infrastructure.

This is in addition to other unprecedented achievements recorded in securing the N25 billion Federal Executive Council Approval for upgrade and replacement of the NIMC Identity Infrastructure, and the implementation of novel initiatives that have increased the registration of persons to over 62 million on the NIDB”, the Minister said.

The Minister, however, charged the Governing Board and Management of NIMC to ensure the judicious utilization of the approved funds as it is released in phases.

Pantami further stated that one of the major challenges he came across in the supervision of the NIMC was the poor working condition of the staff. He said since the inception of NIMC in 2007, multiple attempts have been made to change the narrative of the staff emoluments without success.

Furthermore, the process towards achieving a functional condition of service for the Commission has been a long and daunting task that commenced since 2010.

Successive administrations have made efforts to institute a statutory personnel policy that accentuates the NIMC’s enormous mandate and humongous service offering to the Nigerian people.

These previous attempts, although strong-willed, were unsuccessful, leading to disenchantment amongst the Commission’s workforce and loss of competent and highly skilled personnel to other agencies and organizations within and outside Nigeria (to countries such as Eritrea, United Kingdom and Canada)”, he noted.

He said his first task as the supervising Minister of NIMC was to undertake due diligence and a review process of the Commission’s Human Capital needs and Technical Audit to ascertain their progress as well as challenges.

It was at this point, after series of briefings from the Acting Chairman of the Governing Board, Director General, and top management; and meetings with representatives of the staff union, that I came to appreciate the dire necessity to reform and rejig the NIMC personnel architecture and the urgent need for intervention for the upgrade of the National Identity Management System (NIMS).

As you all may be aware, NIMC issues foundation identity, and at the foundation of a digitized economy is the critical role that Digital Identity plays which drives innovation in Banking, e-Commerce, Security, Governance, and Healthcare amongst others.

For an evolving digital economy like ours, foundational identity will provide a universal multipurpose system capable of supporting the needs for an inclusive legal identity to ensure citizen’s access to social services and effective undertaking of their civic responsibilities”, Pantami said.

Pantami said it is therefore critical to ensure diligence, security, and dedication of the Staff of NIMC for the seamless operation of the National Identity Management System (NIMS) and its integrity by having a satisfied workforce.

The first step I took on the Personnel matter, was to advise the DG to set up a committee to review the existing policies at the time. Following the submission of a revised draft Condition of Service by the Committee, I scheduled arrays of consultations with relevant authorities, chiefly with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, the Minister of Finance, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation amongst others.

He said this new Condition of Service and Salary Scale increases with over 200% of the total NIMC personnel cost, a significant departure from what is currently obtainable.

The highlights of the approved NIMC Condition of Service according to the Minister include “Information about the NIMC, its core functions, offices and departments and the reporting structure.

“Employment eligibility, categories, Grade Level classifications and staff Obligations, Categorization and eligibility for leave, Promotion and career progression matters, Pension and retirement benefit for all categories of staff, and Robust Staff emoluments, amongst others”.

On his part, the Director-General of NIMC, Engr Aliyu Aziz commended President Muhammadu Buhari for speedy assent and approval of the Commission’s condition of service.

He said the Commission is focused on growing the database, earning trust, and always ensuring customers satisfaction.

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