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Biometric data is important for planning and development. In Nigeria, the country has expended millions of naira to gather the biometric data of Nigerians. As a matter of fact, this information can easily be shared and sourced from other governmental parastatals or agencies. But due to lack of coordination, each of these agencies preferred to initiate their own biometric data gathering process. These have led to multiple organizations doing the same thing. Government organizations that currently collect biometric data include the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission, among others. Worried by this development, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered these various agencies to harmonize their data.
  1. NIMC should be in the driving seat According to the NIMC, ‘It has the mandate to establish, own, operate and manage the National Identity Database in Nigeria, register, assign a Unique National Identification Number, issue General Multi-Purpose cards as well as harmonize existing identification databases.’ To make this harmonization possible, the NIMC should reach out to other data gathering agencies, get their data from them, sort it and then create a central database. After this is done, any data gathering process by any government agency should be handled by the NIMC.
  2. Public Private Partnership (PPP)ppp PPP has been used in the provision of much-needed infrastructure in road, health and education. Although some mobile telecommunications companies were lethargic when they were ordered to register the SIM card details of Nigerians, there is no denying the fact that the process was systematic. This apt process can be imported into integrating the data of Nigerians. The bureaucracy of government will undoubtedly make the process sluggish but with PPP, you are guaranteed a speed and record time harmonization.
  3. Inter-agency coordination and cooperation In Nigeria, it is one thing to order something to be done, it is entirely another thing for it to be implemented. It is now left in the hands of the different data gathering agencies like NIMC, NPC, INEC, FRSC and others to sit down and draw up a plan to execute the President’s order. Hence, the cooperation of each of these agencies will largely determine achievable the data harmonization will be.

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This article was first published on 16th February 2016


Adeniyi is a freelance writer and journalist, radio freak, news junkie and budding photographer. He writes on tech, tips and travel for Jovago. Connect with him via Twitter @sleeksavvy.

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