The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), charged with providing Nigerians state-of-the-art identity card and database system has upgraded its Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) from 70 million to 100 million.
The newly-upgraded ABIS would help to accommodate more data from existing identification databases in the country.
The Director, Corporate Communications, NIMC, Mr. Anthony Okwudiafor, said in a statement that the ABIS, when it was first, deployed had only fingerprint and face bimodal functionalities but Iris functionality has been added to the ABIS with the recent upgrade.
He said: "Government had approved the upgrade from 70 million database record size on the two modal functionalities as part of the N30.066 billion three-year funding approved for the accelerated implementation of the back-end component of the National Identity Management System (NIMS) in 2011.
"But the management of NIMC had been able to utilise the same funding to achieve a higher upgrade due to its cordial relationship with L1 identity, the service providers Solutions from United State of America (USA). This means that the NIMC will be able to process volume databases from institutions like INEC and NCC, since the 'de-duplication' system, the ABIS, now has a larger record size capacity capable of taking all the records. The ABIS is what enables the determination of unique identities in the database before the National Identification Number (NIN) is issued to an individual."
Okwudiafor added that the deployment plan includes an upscaling in a matter of hours to 200million whenever the commission desires. This means that the ABIS infrastructure is currently the largest in Sub Saharan Africa. Already, eight members of staff of NIMC have been trained on the use of the system which will be maintained in partnership with a local technology solutions firm and the Biometric Unit of the commission.
"It is also an important step that the commission has taken towards achieving its mandate of integrating identity databases in government agencies. The facility is already in use for the planned roll out of the National Identity smart card to Nigerians scheduled for the second quarter of 2013," he said.
Established by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007, NIMC has the mandate to establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database in Nigeria.
It also has the mandate to register persons covered by the Act, assign a unique National Identification Number (NIN), issue General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC) to those registered individuals, and to harmonise/integrate existing identification databases in Nigeria.