President Muhammadu Buhari has called on relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in attaining and establishing a complete database of all citizens in the country.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, made this call at the commemoration of the 3rd National Identity Day in Abuja.
The theme of the Day is “Identity, a tool for the sustainable digital economy and National security”.
He also commended the efforts of all stakeholders as regards National Identification Number (NIN); adding it was highly commendable, particularly being able to capture millions within less than a year.
Buhari called on stakeholders in the private and public sectors to join hands together; before the end of his tenure to achieve a complete database for the country.
He reminded all stakeholders and citizens that NIN was key to the success of Nigeria as a country.
“As long as we fail to recognise the gaps then it is difficult to fix our challenges confronting the country.
“With the right database in place, it will guide government; to plan and take critical decisions on education, health agriculture.
“Data also will guide government to come up with effective national policies; with the issue women, children and unemployment,” Buhari said.
He commended the effort of NIMC for choosing the theme, saying NIN was a prerequisite for the success of the digital and national economy, as well as national security rights.
Pantami said there was the need to use efficient ways to deploy national identity trust systems; not only to deliver government services in areas such as social welfare, taxes, voting, health administration, security, and education; but also to build an indigenous digital economy.
He also said it would stimulate the private sector and make it thrive.
Pantami, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Bitrus Nabasu, said an efficient, secure, accessible, and reliable National Identity Infrastructure would empower Nigerians to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably; thereby driving social inclusion.
He said the National Identity Day celebration was intended to raise awareness and sensitise the citizenry about the pivotal role of digital identification in Nigeria.
“Our enthusiasm to build a local digital economy; curb widespread economic and social exclusion is hinged on the necessity to assign every Nigerian and legal resident with a unique identity.
“The commission has achieved this through the scale-up of Enrolment and Registration Centres (ERCs) across the country and in the diaspora.
“We have implemented novel policy initiatives that have led to tremendous increase in the registration of persons to over 63 million; counting on the National Identity Database (NIDB),” Pantami said.