The Chief Executive Officer, Barnksforte Technology Limited, Mr Dayo Bankole, has said that the launch of the Self Service application by National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and Minister of Interior on Sept. 16 was a major milestone in ensuring seamless National Identity Number (NIN) enrollment for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Bankole, while speaking with journalists on Wednesday, said the self-service mobile application was developed in partnership with Barnksforte Technologies Limited, a local ICT company, in accordance with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Data Protection laws.
He said the application was designed with strict adherence to the provisions of NITDA Regulation on data protection and data privacy in Nigeria, following the business requirements of NIMC.
Bankole said necessary measures had been put in place to ensure the security and protection of data while using the self service app, adding that since data was considered the ‘oil’ of the digital era, it was important to protect it.
He further said besides being seamless, the cost of using the self-service app was minimal, adding that “it is cost effective compared to foreign technologies”.
He explained that the application had four self service modules: self-service NIN enrollment, modification of data and validation, as well as digital identity generation.
Bankole pointed out that the use of the application, which is accessible from anywhere in the world, would enable Nigerians in the Diaspora to enroll, modify, validate and obtain digital Identity without the need to travel back to Nigeria.
The CEO said the application would be available on Google Play Store and IOS App Store once it is rolled out.
“The Self-Service NIN Enrolment is limited to Nigerians in the Diaspora, to enable them self-enroll for NIN from the comfort of their homes,” Bankole said.
“On modification of data, it is a global service that allows for modification of data of a Nigerian with NIN and it includes names, date of birth, address, and phone number modifications.
“In the same vein, validation is a global service that allows for validation of data for Nigerians with NIN by recapturing their facial and fingerprint biometrics to eliminate the challenge of missing biometrics and it is essential for standardization.
“Lastly is the digital identity generation, which is also a global service and it allows for conversion of NIN into a digital ID or QR Code and can be presented to third party vendors when one’s NIN is required for day-to-day transactions. This eliminates the exposure of NIN to the public and it contains the owner’s bio data, finger and facial biometrics,” he said.
Bankole said the self-service application was one of the two modules of NIMC’s Contactless System, a cutting-edge technology enabled on mobile devices to support seamless enrollment of Nigerians into the National Identity Database with no limitation, in addition to other NIMC’s services.
According to him, while the agent-based solution is for Nigerians within the country, the self service mobile application was designed for Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“The solution consists of a module which NIMC’s enrollment partners through their agents enroll Nigerians for NIN all over the country and another module, the NIMC Self-Service Mobile Application, which was launched on Sept. 16,” he said.
“The contactless system was adopted by NIMC for portability and flexibility. It is deployed on mobile devices for registration and verification is flexible, so, it is an all-in-one solution.
“Also, the solution supports enrollment in remote areas without internet access and electricity, meaning data can be captured in offline mode. It equally uses contactless biometrics to ensures optimum hygiene and non-duplication of finger biometrics, while minimizing the money spent on maintaining contact or traditional based biometric which requires a computer, traditional scanner and other external hardware,” he said.
NIMC had launched a self-service solution that allows Nigerians to register for the National Identification Number from the comfort of their homes using smartphones.
Speaking at the grand celebration marking the 5th National Identity Day, in Abuja, its Acting Director General/CEO, Abisoye Coker-Odusote, emphasized the transformative power of identity, highlighting its role in unlocking access to essential services.
“Identity is more than a mere card or a number; it symbolizes our existence, our entitlements, and our place within society. It unlocks access to essential services, social benefits, and pathways to personal and economic growth. It stands as a testament to our individuality while serving as a bridge to our shared humanity,” she said.
She reiterated NIMC’s vision to provide every citizen and legal resident with a digital primary identity, making it a universal reference point. She also emphasized that access to reliable identity is not a privilege but a fundamental right.
“We firmly believe that access to a reliable identity is not a privilege but a fundamental right. It serves as the cornerstone upon which we can build a more inclusive, secure, and prosperous society,” she said.
In his address, the Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized the need for secure and verifiable identities in the modern digital age, where access to essential services, banking, and even online social media platforms all require proper identity verification.
“We live in the modern digital age where a secure and verifiable identity is vital for any set system to work. Think about it, you can’t access bank services and get ATM cards without proving your identity. You can’t even engage with others on online social media platforms without first verifying your identity, so identity is key in our everyday lives, which is why we commemorate this day today,” he noted.
The minister, however, highlighted the importance of harmonizing and managing national identity, viewing it as a crucial means to mitigate and control crime while fostering national development.
“With a database of over 100 million National Identification Numbers in the National Identity Database, NIDB, NIMC provided essential access to attaining this goal along with other major stakeholders.
“As a member of the Ministry of Interior family, NIMC joins in with other sister agencies in not only improving access by the general public to services like passport acquisition and renewal but also the likes of efficient border security technology, effective handling of insecurity around the country, protection of critical national assets,” he said.