Thursday, 6 November 2014


The National Identity Management Commission (NI MC) has inaugurated a National Public
Key Infrastructure (PKI) for the NIMS implementation and subsequent issuance of the multipurpose national identity card in Nigeria.

The Director General of NIMC, Barrister Chris 'E. Onyemenam who disclosed this during the official launch of the NIMC's PKI security platform noted that the launch is a historical, milestone in the history of Identity Management in Nigeria.

He explained that the PKI consists of a self-assigned root Certificate Authority (CA) and a trusted Registration and subordinate certificate Authority (RA and CA) owned and administered by NIMC.
According to him, the PKI will provide the framework of services, technology, protocols and standards that will enable the deployment and management of a strong information security system based on public key cryptography.

Onyemenam added that the PKI will lead to the personalisation and issuance of a secure National Identity Card that will be recognised and generally accepted globally.
He said: "The National PKI is an infrastructure that ensures e-ID security which is the security backbone on which the national identity card stands. The successful test-run of the public key infrastructure (PKI) is an indication that the national identity card to be issued by NIMC will be sitting on a secured platform."

Speaking further on the ID card, the DG explained that the chip on the ID card provides security that prevents private key document from being accessed without prior authorization from the issuing authority (NIMC).
"The commission must issue a certificate to authenticate and guarantee official transaction before anyone can have access into the digitally secured document," he said.

In the same vein, Mr. Adam Ross the cryptovision Brand Manager pointed out that adequate security had been imbedded in the card at every level and the chip being delivered is the most modern travel card operating platform that enables it to be used for multiple purposes which has a very high level of security.

He stated that the key document or private key information stored in the chip is protected by hardware, thus the chip itself prevents the card from being accessed by anyone else except the card holder.
On the issuance of the e-ID card, the NIMC boss noted that "the commission will put in place a door to door collection arrangement amongst others.”

He also added that when the card is ready, it will take between one to four weeks for a successful applicant to receive his card.

He emphasised that the one month interval is deliberate to allow necessary checks by security agencies, de-duplication and other post enrolment processes before the card is issued. He however noted that it could be less than 4 weeks as time progresses.

The DG further invited Nigerians to use the NIMC online pre-enrolment portal on assuring that the portal was capable of accommodating everyone even if the whole Nigeria chose to enrol at once.

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