The National Identity Management Commission (NIMAC) has temporarily suspended Front-End Partners from engaging in the National Identification Number enrolments.
The Director General, NIMC, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, revealed this at the opening of a four-day training for the first batch of newly revalidated Front End Partners in Abuja.
According to the DG, this is because the commission is currently carrying out a revalidation exercise of these third-party registration centres.
While assuring participants that revalidation is aimed at improving the enrolment process and addressing outstanding debts owed to the Front-End Partners, the DG stated that many infractions have been reported, with a significant number attributed Front-End Partners.
Front-end partners provide enrolment services nationwide. She said, “My decision to direct the revalidation of all FEPs was not targeted at anyone or group. It was a step towards sanitizing the system and processes while ensuring the integrity of data in the country’s identity database. It was also one of the steps towards proper auditing of the claims made by some of our FEPs.
“Please be advised that the revalidation exercise is being implemented in phases. This is just the first and not the last. Let me use this medium to remind you all that NIN enrolment is free of charge in Nigeria. My administration has zero tolerance for corruption. We shall therefore not spare anyone found perpetrating corrupt practices or any other form of infractions.”
The DG further explained that the revalidation exercise was part of steps towards ensuring compliance with the highest standards of data security among the FEPs.
She noted, “Don’t forget that I inherited huge debts owed FEPs for over two years. Some of the invoices and claims were questionable, requiring proper auditing. The rot in the process and system left me with no option but to take deliberate steps toward sanitising the enrollment process.
“And to this end, I directed that NIN enrolment activities at all FEP centres be suspended temporarily, pending the outcome of a revalidation exercise.”
In October, NIMC announced the revalidation of its third-party agent licenses. At the time, the commission stated that the process was mandatory for all current partners and was intended to ensure compliance with the latest standards and protocols.
Commenting on the issue of kidnapping in the country, NIMC disclosed that it is working with the Nigerian Communications Commission and security agencies to ensure the use of NIN and SIM databases to track down kidnappers and victims of kidnapping.
The DG of NIMC, Coker-Odusote, stated this at a stakeholder engagement with the Nigeria Identification for Development Project in Abuja.
The DG who spoke through her technical assistant, Ayobami Abiola, said, “NIMC is working very closely with the security agencies to ensure that we can use the NIN in a way which helps to secure the country.
“There have been previous engagements and directives requiring people to use the NIN to register their SIM cards. However, people have been able to circumvent that and this has been to the detriment of using this information for security purposes. However, NIMC is working very closely to plug all of these holes and there will be a solution soon.
“The President has expressed worry over our fragmented identity system which is causing the country huge losses in expenditure and has given us marching orders to ensure we integrate and unify our identity system.
“The goal is to remove all current challenges and difficulties that people face in enrolling for IDs, fostering a robust, seamless, and more inclusive enrolment system where ID is provided for everyone, and no one is left behind.”