President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transfer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. This, the government said, was to ensure that synergy and effective ministry supervisory mechanism is put in place to coordinate, monitor, and track the progress of its digital transformation initiatives.
Until now, NIMC had been under the supervision of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
According to a statement from the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, the approval for the transfer was based on the President’s consideration for the critical role of NIMC towards the realisation of the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS).
“Furthermore, Mr. President’s directives for NIMC to be under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is an illustration of Mr. President’s vote of confidence on Dr. Isa Pantami, based on an unprecedented performance,” the statement signed by the Minister’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman read.
“He has, within his first year in office, amongst others, resolved the ICT sector’s decade-long dilemma of Right of Way charges. He was also able to secure Mr. President’s approval for the provision of security as well as the designation of Telecommunications Infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure, regularization of improperly registered SIM cards and deactivation of unregistered ones, the deployment of over 250 digital projects across the country under his policies and supervision as well as built the capacity of over 36,000 Nigerians,” the statement added.
The Minister recalled that NIMC is mandated to create, manage, maintain, and operate the National Identity Database established by the NIMC Act, 2007. In an effort to realise this, the Commission has so far registered around 41 million eligible enrollees for the National Identity Number (NIN).
“The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the other hand has details of over 191 million mobile subscribers. Furthermore, the National Information Technology Development Agency has recorded huge successes in the development and implementation of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR), the country’s first codified data protection regulation.
“The Agency has also reached an advanced stage on the implementation of the National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI). Galaxy Backbone Limited (GBB) also provides services to Government Agencies – Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service. The need therefore for NIMC, NCC, NITDA, and GBB to work closely together under the supervision of one Ministry towards harnessing what has already been achieved cannot be overemphasised,” the Minister stated.