The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has pledged to hasten the process of harmonising and integrating its database with the national identity card database to ensure complete synergy with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The director-general, PenCom, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, said this when the director-general/chief executive officer, NIMC, Mr Chris E. Onyemenam, paid her a courtesy visit at the PenCom headquarters in Abuja.
According to Anohu-Amazu, “PenCom is a sister organisation to the NIMC, and where we are now is a clear indication that we are working towards the same goal and must work together to ensure that our organisational roles and mandates are achieved seamlessly.”
She noted that the PenCom is poised to serve not only the pensioners of today but the contributors to the various pension funds who are the pensioners of tomorrow.
“There has always been a great need for proper identification and verification in the pension industry to ensure little or no case of identity theft. It’s a good thing that the NIMC and PenCom are poised to make a positive impact and contribute to the country’s economy and development,” she said.
Anohu-Amazu further noted that “the NIMC’s idea in the PenCom’s estimation is a fabulous one. Long before the inception of the highly structured pension industry that exist today, there has been a fundamental need for a foundation identity database which all the agencies and private organisations can fall back on at any given time and we are glad that the NIMC has put such structure on ground.”
In his response, Onyemenam noted that the NIMC’s core mandate is identity management.
“The major reasons for identity theft and fraud-related activities in the country is the lack of record keeping. Over the decades, Nigeria didn’t have an identity database which made identity theft and fraud very commonplace among Nigerians.”
He stated that a lot of people are known to have multiple identities which they use for varied reasons.
“This is costing the Pension industry, the bank industry and the likes, hundreds of millions of naira annually, thus the need for a central database to check the number of times people change their names and identities.
He explained that with the National Identity Database now in place, every individual who enrolls into the database is allowed to lie to the system just once; because once the details are captured, it is stored against the individual’s biometrics and headshot so that in the next 20 years or more, the same details can be referred to with the help of the National Identification Number (NIN).
“Cases of ghost workers, falsification of age and names, fraud, identity theft, etc., are some of the problems faced in our industry that will be curtailed and eliminated with a centralized identity database, replete with biometric information,” he added.