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NIMC DG, Coker-Odusote, reiterates commitment to safety of Nigeria’s database

The mandate of NIMC is ambitious, yet crucial. Achieving these goals requires effective mobilisation of citizens through strategic communication. Pursuant to our

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NIMC DG, Coker-Odusote, reiterates commitment to safety of Nigeria’s database

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engineer Abisoye Coker-Odusote, has affirmed commitment of the commission to maintain

highest standards of data protection in the country in compliance with all extant laws and regulations.

This was part of the NIMC boss’ opening remarks at a 2-day Roundtable with publishers of online newspapers in Nigeria, held at Valencia Hotel Abuja, from July 3rd – 4th, 2024.

While seeking for meaningful partnership with the media sector, Engineer Coker-Odusote urged the online publishers to uphold professionalism and ethical conducts in the discharge of their duties, bearing in mind the key responsibility of disseminating accurate information to the public.

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She said, “It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to this pivotal 2-day Roundtable with publishers of online newspapers in Nigeria. As we gather here today, we are united by a common goal: to build formidable bridges between the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the influential voices of the online media landscape.

“In the digital age, the influence of online media cannot be overstated. The internet has become a primary source of information for many, particularly the youth. However, it is also a breeding ground for misinformation and rumours, which can severely impact the reputation and trust in organisations.

“Our focus today is to address the dual role of online publishers – as key partners in disseminating accurate information and as potential sources of misconceptions. We recognise that while you have the power to amplify our successes, there is also the potential for misunderstandings that can spread rapidly.

“This Roundtable aims to forge a partnership that leverages your strengths to support our mission while ensuring that any misconceptions are promptly and accurately addressed. It will create a platform for NIMC to explain our activities and achievements directly to you, ensuring clear communication and mutual understanding.

“The mandate of NIMC is ambitious, yet crucial. Achieving these goals requires effective mobilisation of citizens through strategic communication. Pursuant to our commitment to transparency and accountability, we have instituted robust mechanisms for participation, grievance redress, and regular monitoring to enhance operational performance and mitigate social risks.

“Our grievance redress system includes a centralised grievance register, a contact centre, and multiple channels for submitting complaints. This system ensures that queries are addressed promptly, problems with implementation are resolved efficiently, and complaints from ecosystem partners are effectively managed.

“NIMC under my watch is committed to complying with all extant laws and regulations governing the protection of data in Nigeria. So far, we have done so much towards ensuring compliance with the highest standards of data security, sanitising the system and processes, while ensuring the integrity of data on the country’s identity database. We shall not rest on our oars.

“Let me at this point, thank the online publishers for all the support you have been giving to the commission, particularly, since I assumed office at NIMC. We do not take this for granted. While we take deliberate steps towards deepening our engagements with you, rest assured of our commitment to the highest standards of professionalism in the implementation of NIMC’s mandate.

“My administration has zero tolerance for corruption. I hereby reiterate my commitment to sanitising NIMC, in conformity with the mandate of Mr. President. Let me also use this medium to remind you all that enrolment for the National Identification Number (NIN) is free of charge in Nigeria.

“Over the next two days, you will be exposed to NIMC’s operations, strategy, activities, reforms, technical infrastructure upgrade, success stories and plans. As publishers of online newspapers, you are at the forefront of this effort. Your platforms are instrumental in educating the public about our activities, operations, and the benefits of a robust national identity management system. Taking advantage of this meeting, we hope to provide you with comprehensive insights into NIMC’s activities, objectives, strategies, achievements, and challenges. This knowledge is vital for you to disseminate accurate information to the public. It is also expected that we discuss your roles in the forthcoming NIMC Ecosystem Enrolment exercise, ensuring you understand how you can contribute to this national effort.

“We are also deliberate about establishing a relationship that will help prevent misinformation about NIMC’s activities and clear up any existing misconceptions, thereby maintaining public trust. It is expected that this meeting will identify sustainable strategic activities and engagements that will effectively promote our goals.

“We also hope to share experiences and insights on current and potential future challenges, allowing us to adapt our strategies accordingly. More so, it is my expectation that this meeting agrees on critical areas of collaboration and outline the next steps for a productive relationship between NIMC and online publishers in Nigeria.

“It is our intention to build strategic communication bridges between NIMC and online publishers, facilitating effective information dissemination. NIMC, under my watch, seeks to foster a friendly and collaborative atmosphere that will lead to more positive coverage and support from the media.

“Let me use this medium to, once again, reassure Nigerians, at home, and in the diaspora that robust measures are in place to safeguard the nation’s database from cyber threats. NIMC’s infrastructure adheres to the stringent ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System Standard, ensuring that the highest standards of data protection are maintained.

“Under my leadership, NIMC has an unwavering commitment to upholding ethical standards in data protection. Cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time monitoring systems are in place to protect the database.

“We are also very deliberate about ensuring that all partners and vendors of the commission comply with strict security standards. One of the objectives of this meeting is to strengthen collaboration with the media, pursuant to our determination to regularly keep the public informed about the steps being taken to secure their data, the commission’s activities, updates, success stories, as well as challenges. Please, let us work together in this regard.

“Let me, in a very special way, thank the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his inspirational leadership and commitment to a better Nigeria. I also use this medium to commend the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project for its numerous supports to NIMC and for making this Roundtable possible.

“Pursuant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 16.9), which seeks to ensure that everyone on the earth planet has a form of identity by 2030, NIMC shall not rest, until every citizen of Nigeria (at home and in the diaspora) and legal residents are captured on the country’s identity database.

“We are also very deliberate about inclusion. A compelling strategy is already in place, with support from the Nigeria Digital ID4D Project to ensure that those that are at the risk of being excluded on Nigeria’s identity project are adequately covered.

“From persons with disabilities, to women and children, the elderly, and those in rural and hard to reach areas, we are determined to ensure that no one is left behind. Ladies and gentlemen, this Roundtable is not just a meeting but a step towards a collaborative future.

“I am aware that as publishers, you are also businesspeople. Balancing social responsibility and ethical expectations with business requirements is a delicate act.

“While I assure you of a mutually beneficial marriage with NIMC, please I urge you to be guided by professionalism and ethics in the discharge of your duties, bearing in mind that you owe the society a social responsibility.

“By working together, we can enhance the visibility, trust, and goodwill of NIMC, ensuring that our message reaches the public accurately and effectively. I urge you to embrace professionalism and be guided by ethical conducts.

“I look forward to productive discussions and a mutually beneficial relationship that will better our nation. Let us embark on this journey together, with a shared vision and a commitment to excellence.

“Thank you for your attention and participation.”

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