The Federal Government has revealed its plan to commence registration of Nigerians abroad in September, 2016.
The Director General of the Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz, disclosed this whole receiving the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in his Abuja office.
According to him, 9.5 million Nigerians have so far been registered for the national identity card.
Asia said the Diaspora registration is part of NIMC’s plan to ensure that all Nigerian citizens abroad are registered on the database it was building.
He added that the registration could be used for identity management and other laudable purposes for the progress of the country.
Pointing out that the registration was a continuous process, Aziz disclosed that the commission was also harmonising the existing databases so that it could have one single database all over the country.
He assured that the exercise would be done seamlessly like the ongoing one in the country.
“Way back in 2012, we started the registration and we are in about 400 locations. We build the system in such a way that you can have enrolment station anywhere and could be securely connected to the database here.
“Therefore, it will not be a problem to commence enrolment of the Diaspora. We hope that by September this year, we would have selected the companies that will carry out this registration.”
According to hm, the NIMC technology was designed in so simple way to allow individuals to commence the registration on their own by accessing the website at www.nimc.gov.ng and fill the pre-enrolment form.
The DG said the person could take the form to any centre and have his or her biometric data captured.
“I want to tell you that we are ready, we are ISO certified. We have the technology. Our card has MasterCard that is certified by MasterCard before we issue.
“So the process is ongoing so by September 2016, we hope to commence the process and we will involve your office in all the process.”
His explanation was in response to Dabiri-Erewa’s concern that there was no accurate database for Nigerians in the Diaspora and that they could not have a database connected to the national identity card.
She said one of the objectives of her office was to ensure accurate data of Nigerians in the Diaspora and that NIMC could be of help.
She said: “It is a shame that this is 2016 and we still do not have an accurate data base for the Nigerians in Diaspora.
“We are dealing with estimate, sometime we say 15 million sometimes we say 18 million.
“So, therefore, we want to know what you are doing about data base of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“Do you have plans for them?
“Are you planning to also have them registered?
“We hope such registration would be permanent and it would not be a temporary one.”
According to Dabiri-Erewa, if Nigeria has a data base from NIMC, there would be data security, data storage, it is going to cost a lot to get it done, but it can be done.