The director-general of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Aziz has emphasised the importance of data in national development and digital transformation.
Speaking at the fourth International Conference on Communication and Development in Africa, held in partnership with the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM) and the NIMC themed “Change Management and Data-Driven Strategic Engagement for Development” from May 2nd to 3rd, 2023, at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Aziz highlighted that effective change management strategies are vital for any meaningful transformation, including digital transformation.
Moreover, he noted that data must be broken down and analyzed to have value, and leaders and organisations must utilise data-driven decision-making to succeed.
Aziz also stressed the need for a digital government, a digital society and a digital economy in Nigeria to improve people’s lives and support stronger communities. He suggested that a nationwide coordinated approach is necessary to digitise the nation, collaborating with every stakeholder, and reorganising administration, governance, government-to-citizen engagements and government-to-business interactions. He further underscored that significant investment in a practicable and sustainable structure is necessary to create a strong and viable digital infrastructure to power the digital economy.
According to him, the Nigerian Federal Government’s plan is to empower individuals, especially the youth, to cultivate and harness their talents and arm themselves with the latest digital technologies needed to realise the nation’s aspirations.
“To support this plan, schools must teach students how to create future technology, the government must equip individuals with up-to-date knowledge and skills to exploit technology and a cyber-smart workforce must be developed to secure systems and platforms and make smart decisions. The government and businesses must invest in talent hunting, skills and capacity development for positive growth in Nigeria and to bring about sustainability in the ever-growing and changing socio-economic landscape,” he said.
Aziz also emphasised that the NIMC provides identity registration and issues a unique Identity token that seamlessly integrates with both public and private organisations to meet citizens’ operational needs in verifying and authenticating their identities to facilitate transparent and effective service delivery.
“The commission takes identity management seriously and prides itself on its rich experience in providing assured and unique identification to all Nigerians and legal residents. It has over 97 million enrolment figures in the National Identity Database and over 6,000 active enrolment points (centres) scattered within the country and in the diaspora, conforming to international best practices such as ISO certifications,” he added.
The NIMC boss reiterated that strategic engagement with all stakeholders is critical to the sustainability and relevance of a viable Identity Management System (IMS) and this has been one of the key things that necessitated the collaboration with the Nasarawa State University.
He concluded by stating that digital inclusion and access to education are keys to building a digital society, a stronger and more prosperous nation. Through greater focus and use of data, computing, and connectivity, the public and private sectors can transform to better serve people and businesses, repositioning Nigeria to facilitate the transition to a data-driven, effective, transformed, and sustainable nation.
At the occasion, NIMC received an institutional partner award in science communication, and Aziz was awarded a personal award of excellence in leadership by the NSUK vice chancellor, Prof. Suleiman Mohammed, who lauded NIMC for partnering in the conference hosting and urged other like-minded organisations to partner with the institution towards promoting and popularising effective science communication in Nigeria.