National ID: Nigeria To Use Biometrics in National Census

Biometric technology is being invoked as a way to remove the taint of undue politicisation from Nigeria’s next national census. As reported initially by Nigerian news outlet This Day Live, the chairman of the National Population Commission, Eze Duru-Iheoma, has stated that the nation will be adopting the biometric registration system in the next census.

“The only problem that bedevils our census exercise is the over-politicisation of the process,” Duru-Iheoma told This Day Live.  “People see census in terms of revenue allocation, but that is erroneous because the main purpose of census is to enable us plan as a people to know how many Nigerians are of a certain age group or gainfully employed. It is among those things that enable us plan well and not how much more a state government is expected to get from federation account.“

There has been no set date for the census, but the goal of the National Population Commission is to have the registration system ready for this purpose by 2015.

This application of a biometric national ID solution is an example of how having a strong identity verification can help promote fair democracy. In the situation of a biometric database, the body measurements enrolled are used as a strong verification method that can help keep data accurate, unbiased and easy to analyze.

Nigeria is a country that is embracing biometric technology at an encouraging rate. In the area of biometrics for finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria has even implemented a cash tax in order to encourage biometric and mobile payments. The country has been aggressively pursuing strong authentication solutions for a wide variety of applications not only to reduce bias, fraud and corruption, but with the goal of becoming one of the top world economies by 2020.

May 6, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter