The Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris, has called for robust synergy and collaboration among data harvesting agencies in the country to achieve single data architecture for enhanced national development.
According to a statement signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Mr Amos Okpu, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), Jere made the call Monday at the Service Headquarters while receiving the management team of the Digital Identification for Development (DID4D) Project on courtesy visit. The Comptroller General stressed the key role of effective data collection, collation, processing and management in national security and planning.
“We live at a time where data has become a huge asset for national strength and indeed competing seriously to overtake oil as a major global resource; and so there is an urgent need for us to come together to better manage our national data. We can no longer continue to have our data idling away in silos of different agencies. The time for harmonization is now,” he added.
The Comptroller General further noted that the Service as a critical player in the nation’s data ecosystem has since 2019 demonstrated strong commitment to achieving a harmonized national data architecture with the introduction of the enhanced ePassport which makes the provision of the National Identity Number (NIN) by applicants compulsory to procure the document. He also noted that the Service has continued to invest in data harvesting and processing systems and devices at its various windows including Border Crossing Points to ensuring robust database. He assured that the Service shall be willing and available to collaborate with relevant agencies to fully achieve national data harmonization for improved national planning and development.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator of DID4D, Mr. Solomon Musa Odole had informed that his team was at the Service Headquarters to seek partnership and collaboration on the digital identification project. He noted the readiness of his team to engage in meaningful discussions and synergy with the Service for the purpose of achieving the Federal Government’s desire to develop and strengthen the existing identification ecosystem aimed at increasing the number of persons with National Identification. This he stressed is with a view to facilitating citizens’ access to key services, improve service delivery and bolster Nigeria’s digital economy.
He further stated that frantic efforts are being made including a National Policy Dialogue with critical stakeholders towards the enactment of a National Data Protection and Privacy Law or review of existing laws to ensure that appropriate institutional frameworks are in place to drive the nation’s digital economy project.
The DID4D is a Nigerian Project, jointly funded by the World Bank, European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency with the main objective to increase the number of persons with a National Identification Number (NIN) issued by a robust and inclusive foundational identity system. The Project Coordinator was accompanied on the courtesy visit by other team members including Dr. Walter Duru, Manager Internal Communications, Bamidele Akinola, Project Accountant and Mouktar Adamu, Manager External Communications among others.