President Muhammadu Buhari has asked government agencies in Nigeria to harmonise the collection and usage of biometric data, instead of replicating their efforts in this regard.
After receiving a briefing on the activities of the National Population Commission from the Chairman, Eze Duru Iheoma, who led other National Commissioners to the Presidential Villa on Monday, President Buhari wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data when such data could easily be shared.
Government organisations that currently collect biometric data include: the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission, among others.
President Buhari added that all the agencies should work collaboratively, instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country.
Mr Iheoma had briefed the President on what would be required for the commission to conduct a national census next year, 10 years after the last exercise, as stipulated by the United Nations.
A National Population Census, the Chairman said, would cost about 273 billion Naira, while about 10 billion Naira of the amount would be needed immediately.
He told the President that a biometric based census was being proposed because it would eliminate multiple respondents, and ghost respondents, while making the outcome easy to audit.