Administrators in the Nigerian state of Abia are rolling out a new biometric registration scheme for commercial drivers. The announcement comes courtesy of the state’s Commissioner for Transport, who indicated that the decision would give the government more control over those operating commercial vehicles.
In that regard, the new system will make it easier for the government to identify drivers both at home and while they are on the road. Drivers will be registered using existing identity factors like Nigeria’s National Identification Number, in addition to more traditional documents like voter cards, passports, and birth certificates.
The move will ensure that everyone on Abia’s roads is legally old enough to drive, and presumably give the government more oversight with regards to poor on-road behavior. Those who are not driving well will be more readily identified, and can therefore be held accountable for their actions.
On that front, the biometric registration policy will extend to the Riders Permits that Abia issues to tricycle and motorcycle operators. The Riders Permits are distinct from driver’s licenses, and are only available to those who are 18 years of age or older.
Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is hoping that a more organized driver registration scheme will help improve the state’s economy. The state’s current drivers will have 30 days to submit their biometric data to comply with the new policy.
Nigeria has been working toward a national ID program since 2019. The country is using BIO-key’s Pocket10 scanner to capture people’s fingerprints, and is using that biometric data as the foundation for the national ID system. Biometric technology is becoming increasingly popular in several sectors in Nigeria, and is now being used for everything from banking to pension distribution for the country’s military veterans.
June 28, 2022 – by Eric Weiss