Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, in an interview with Punch:
Many Nigerians are of the view that the issuance of national identification numbers and cards will add no value to their lives, how will you react to this?
That is not true! I don’t think many Nigerians think that way, you will probably be thinking that the cynicism of the past will continue and that’s why we have embarked on an awareness campaign to enlighten people, to make them understand that what we had done in the past might have achieved limited success, but what we are doing today is different from what we did in the past.
In the past, the focus was on the issuance of an identification card; but today, we have made it slightly different to say that what we need first and foremost is to be able to create and manage identities. And one way to manage the identity is to issue the card. The card is not an end in itself but a means to an end; that end is to be able to affirm and confirm your identity that used to be what we ignored in the past.
In the past, we issued identification cards in the mistaken belief that once we issued a card, we have been able to secure and genuinely confirm the identity of an individual, which is not true because if you go to any business centre you can create a photo ID. So, what we do now is to say, what are those things that will be put in place that will be accepted by everybody as a means by which you can affirm your identity?
And one of the key features of that system is the use of the biometrics; the use of biometrics in that sense means that you can always confirm using the biometrics that the identity that has been revealed or that we have sort to confirm is exactly the identity that we want to deal with.