This Day (Lagos)

17 January 2013

Nigeria: Firms to Launch Biometric Identity Database

Dragnet Solutions, a computer-based testing and talent management firm, in partnership with a United Kingdom-based biometric solutions company, Warwick Warp (UK) Limited, is planning to launch a Centralised Biometric Identity Database for West African Countries.

Biometrics refers to the identification of humans by their characteristics or traits. Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals, and its identifiers are often categorised under physiological and behavioural characteristics.

A physiological biometric will identify certain traits through the voice, DNA, hand print or behaviour. Speaking on the initiative, Managing Director, Dragnet Solutions, Mr. Robert Ikhazoboh, said the need to provide a modern and efficient identification system that is private-sector led, was the dream behind the project.

"At Dragnet Solutions, we are noted for our bouquet of innovative products and services that are carefully designed to address seemingly intractable challenges," Ikhazoboh said. According to him, "In Nigeria, for instance, the National Identity Card scheme has been hampered by different issues and there seems to it for now. The Centralised Biometric Identity Database is, therefore, the solution to the identity verification problem of the country. We are partnering a renowned Warwick Warp to deliver this solution. We will start with some private organisations like educational institutions, oil companies, among others that handle a lot of data in the course of their businesses, and we also plan to extend it to the public sector later."

He disclosed that project would be launched in March this year accompanied by supportive innovative identity management solutions for the sub region. Founded from the University of Warwick and being members of the international Signal and Image Processing Research Group, Warwick Warp is noted for best fingerprint matching algorithm in the World. Warwick Warp has three dimensional modelling of fingerprints that operate by applying a mathematical model to identify the features of interest.

According to Ikhazoboh, Warwick Warp innovative mathematical modelling approach, would neutralise the effects of 'hard to capture' prints and substantially improve the success rate of fingerprint matching. The Warwick warp finger print technology has in the past years been successfully deployed in the UK within the civil and military force, port of entry for European countries as part of biometric passport control security measures and VISA requirements, as well as in mission critical humanitarian projects in Africa. Warwick Warp's Solutions can be deployed in conjunction with competing technologies to aid the processing of difficult prints.

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