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'National ID card will redefine Nigeria’s global image'

21 November 2013, 11:00

Abuja - The new national identity card has been designed to meet the highest international standard aimed at redefining the country’s image in the international community.

Chris Onyemenam, the Director-General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), said this at a lecture organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Abuja on Wednesday.

"The new identity card cannot be duplicated because it has 18 different security features on it.

"The NIMC is going to issue a card acceptance device given out to banks, embassies, police, FRSC.

"If you are stopped on the road, they (law enforcement agents) will just slot in your card into the card acceptance device and information about you will come out,” he said.

Onyemenam said that in the event that a person did not have a card, a person’s National Identity Number (NIN) could just be keyed into the system to get one’s detailed identity.

"I get letters in my office from Interpol asking NIMC to confirm whether somebody is a Nigerian. Of course you know that one out of every four black persons in the world is a Nigerian.

"So when they have issues with a black person and they cannot identify the identity of the person, the first thing that comes to mind is that the person is a Nigerian.

"When the new identity card becomes operational, when the police pickup finger prints even in a crime scene and send it to us, we will be able to tell them who the person is,” he said.

He said that NIMC would connect all the Ministries, Departments and Parastatals, and was currently connected to 14 government agencies through secure fibre connection.

Onyemenam was represented by Emma Ogungbe, Director, Technical Services.

Also, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Army Public Relations Officer, said Nigerians had always done their jobs conscientiously outside the country, and tasked them to also give their best to the country.

"We have enough in this country to project the image of the nation. The Nigerian armed forces by the virtue of its participation in the various foreign missions, have been able to project the nation’s image.

"Most people’s contacts with this country apart from football have been their contacts with the Nigerian military outside the nation and that has been an opportunity to project the competence of Nigeria in protecting global security,” he said.

The Acting Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Jide Adebayo, in his remarks, tasked the Nigerian media to check the negative reports about the country in the western media.

Adebayo, represented by Isaac Ighure, Executive Director, Editorial Operation, said that most reports about Nigeria were borne out of envy.

He urged the Nigerian media to always project the nation’s positive attributes.

"NAN produced more than 60 per cent of the news items in the Nigerian news media and almost all the photos you see in the papers are from NAN.

"No news medium in this country currently provides more news items and photos than NAN; though we are most times not credited.

"But we are happy as long as they are made available to the public.”

"We must assert ourselves as a people, if we do not, the rest of the world will continue to look down on us; let us have an abiding faith in this country.

Also, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, urged Nigerians to continue to talk about their differences.

Abubakar pointed out that effective communication leads to peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Represented by Emmanuel Ojukwu, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Abubakar assured that the police would continue to carry out its internal security operations professionally.

In his speech, Chairman, Abuja Chapter of NIPR, Ohaeri Osundu, regretted that the country had witnessed image-related challenges which had put the citizens on a negative spot within the global cycle.

Osundu, however, said the gathering was conceived as a platform to conscientious Nigerians at home and in Diaspora on the need to collectively perceive themselves positively.

-  NAN


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