#MBE: How Nigeria Can Solve Biometric Registration Issues
By Esther David & Jude Chukwuemeka
It’s Policy Thursday on Money Business & Economy show on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM. The host, Tunji Andrews welcomes Ademola Koledoye, Digital Marketing & Analytics expert at SEAMFIX NIG LIMITED. Together the duo discusses matters arising as the case may be from the issue of Nigerians getting identified nationally.
Since Seamfix Nigeria is a company that is involved in matters of biometrics or KYC, Koledoye is the man to speak to in this case. But first, Tunji refers to the various biometrics we have in Nigeria such as BVN, NIMC, etc. Isn’t it so annoying that to get a driver’s license, or National ID, one needs a biometric of sort or the other?
The show anchor asks: How is it that we have so many biometric registrations in one country? Annoyingly, for most of these biometric registrations, a person needs one to get another, and Tunji feels that so unfair.
Why is there no harmonization and is it that difficult to get these procedures harmonized?
Koledoye explains that it’s complicated. “Nigeria is just a country that recently has been trying to get identities of citizens right. For some developed countries who already know what they are doing, they’ve gone ahead to have their citizens properly registered. The USA has Social Security Number and it is connected to everything. The country has successfully given that to every citizen of that country.
“For Nigeria, you’ll realize that there are different agencies and bodies setup to offer services to the populace. There is FRSC to offer drivers’ license, and they create their own biometrics of individuals. Of course, there is the politics side to it because everybody wants to carry out a big project like that.”
He goes on to explain that some of the projects of citizen identification have involved different types of people and organizations. They have come up with different database structures. Harmonization will mean that what exists in one database will also exist in another company database. Therefore, for harmonization to exist, Koledoye says there has to be a merging of databases.
What about the issue of identity theft, due to insecure data management in Nigeria? Tunji wants to know.
Koledoye replies that “in Nigeria the regulatory body responsible for the upkeep of everybody’s identity is NIMC. This the Nigeria Identity Management Commission (NIMC). What the guys have been able to do is go out and find identities behind financial transactions. BVN is therefore keen because money is the first thing for people. But for us, security is based in the body that collects the identity information.”
He goes further to explain the role of Seamfix as a company that will ensure that security checks will be guaranteed for Nigerians, as the quality of such will be the top priority for the company.
He also speaks on ‘fingerprint threshold’ which is a means by which every fingerprint collected shows the quality check. He says if the fingerprint quality threshold, “let’s say 95 percent quality, it would not be enough.”
For SIM card registeration, there is also a case of fingerprint matching. "If one print is not up to the required percentage in match-up, it will be rejected," the studio guest says.
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