The Nigerian Government has announced new plans for biometric registration of its citizens that would be stored in a central database and yield biometric identity cards and a nine-digit unique identification number for each citizen, according to an All Africa article.
The new program is not a new idea to Nigerians, as the country has pursued similar registration schemes in the past only to have them fail due to bribery, scandals and simple failures to deliver ID cards and numbers to the registered.
Since the failure of the original effort that was started more than eight-years ago, the Nigerian government created the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) over seen by Director General Chris Onyemenam to manage the new process.
Among some of the top responsibilities of the NIMC are to bring together and integrate all other past biometric identity schemes such as those created by the Federal Road Safety Corps, Pension Commissions, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Independent National Electoral Commission, Financial Institutions and Health Service Providers into one biometric-based system.
Expectations for the finished scheme are that it will ease a citizen’s interactions with the governments both local and federal as well as ease standard business dealings for consumers such as purchasing plane tickets or using an ATM.
Additionally, there are hopes for leveraging the biometric database, which would contain fingerprint, facial and demographic information, to assist in law enforcement through surveillance that would be better able to identify criminals.
Read the full story here.