The federal Government has approved has approved the licensing of 173 private sector Agents and 30 State Governments/Public Sector Institutions for the enrolment of Nigerians and legal residents into the National Identity Database (NIDB) on behalf of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The Director-General/Chief Executive of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, explained in a statement that the approval was given by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) in Abuja.

Aziz said the licensed agents were approved after successfully fulfilling all the conditions in the advertised Expression of Interest (EOI) which was done in 2019 as a first step towards the take off the National Digital Identity Ecosystem project.

Prompttvnews recall that the pre-submission conference for prospective licensees of the digital identity ecosystem project in Abuja held in November 4, 2019.

The Nigerian Communications Commission had recently asked telecommunication service subscribers to block SIM cards not registered with NIN after two weeks.

According to the statement released by NIMC, a breakdown of the successful licensees shows that 16 state governments including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Lagos, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Oyo, Ogun, Sokoto and Zamfara states were licensed.

Prominent among the public sector institutions licensed are the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Pension Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc(NIBSS), National Population Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Joint Tax Board and Nigeria Postal Services.

Other organisations issued licences include Military Pensions Board, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Corporate Affairs Commission, National Health Insurance Scheme, National Agricultural Extension & Research Liaison Services and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants & Internally Displaced Persons.

Mobile network operators in Nigeria such as MTN, Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile form part of the 173 private sector organisations licensed, while Etranzact, VDT Communications, Unified Payment Services were also successful.

The licensees also includes Seven NGOs, namely Africa Youth Growth Foundation, An Nadaa Educational Foundation Arrida Relief Foundation, Hadejia Ina Mafita Initiative Community Based Organisation, Mimidoo Initiative & Development and Murna Foundation.

A cording to the statement, “the licensing of enrolment agents is in line with the Federal Government’s strategy to scale up enrolment and issuance of the National Identification Number (NIN) to Nigerians and legal residents, thereby liberalising the enrolment process and opening up the sector for multiple players. The Digital Identity Ecosystem project’s goal is to increase the number of enrolment centres in the country from the current meagre1000 to 10,000 and enrolment figures from the current figure of 43 million to 200 million within the next five years”.

The initiative is also to support the Federal Government’s effort at tackling insecurity in the country.

The approved agents are to commence enrolment of all Nigerians and legal residents immediately.