An effective national identification system is a necessity in any national government for the proper implementation and execution of its governmental policies and duties. This thesis aims at restructuring Nigeria national identification system so as to make it effective in addressing its political and civil problems, which ranges from manipulated census count figures and electoral fraud to economic fraud and civil problems. These problems are arguably due to Nigeria’s ineffective national identification system.
We proposed in this thesis, a restructured Nigeria national identification system to help address these political and civil problems. The proposed identification system is designed such that it will help to address identification problems in general, reduce elections and census count fraud to a minimum and be useful for the execution of policies in sectors of the economy.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of identification has always been a part of mankind. Verifying the identity of a person, a body or an organization has become so important in today’s world that its absence would only mean a world in chaos. Our world today is a technology and business driven world that can only continue to remain the way it is or get better if identification is given its due place. Identification has become so vast that it embraces every aspect of our lives, be it social or technological. While several nations are considering improving their National identification system by integrating recent identification technology into it, others that do not have a National identification system in place are debating on having one or not.
National identification system has become the subject of public debate. To facilitate various activities of any National government, all citizens and organizations should be uniquely identified. Any governmental activities such as social security services, public administration, Medicare services, tax collection, fair National elections, transparent National census count and much more cannot be effectively facilitated in the absence of a good National identification system.
A successful National identification scheme is greatly dependent on public trust and should be carefully and sensitively implemented with respect to the social and technological maturity of the nation in question.
Technology has become more pervasive and affordable nowadays that most identification system is technology based. There are a lot of ongoing research and design that are geared towards personal identification. All these are supposedly to make identification more effective and secure.
There is no such thing as a totally secure National identification system, nor can there be a system that is completely immune to the risk of taking in multiple or false identities. It is known that biometrics can be spoofed and registration data falsely represented. There can be problems at both human and technological level.
In this thesis, we propose a new National identification structure for Nigeria to help address its identification problems in general, reduce elections and census count fraud to a minimum and be useful for the execution of policies in sectors of the economy.
Having a National identification system in place in any National government is one thing, but having an effective and approximately secure National identification system is another. This thesis work mainly aims at restructuring Nigeria’s National identification system and proposing a data flow pattern in the restructured system to help tackle the problems of electoral fraud and manipulated census count figures.
I was deeply motivated into restructuring Nigeria’s National Identification system after looking into the National identification system of several developed nations. During the first few months of my studies in Sweden, I became increasingly aware of how effective its National identification system was. This led to my looking into the national identification systems of other countries with a good national identification system. These national identification systems can easily account for the approximately correct number of citizens and legal immigrants in the countries in question, and the identification of any person was convenient and easy. Thus it occurred to me that if such a good identification system is put in place in Nigeria, it can help solve her political problems of electoral fraud and manipulated census count figures, and as well as address her civil problems.
Nigeria being a country that has over 250 ethnic groups with varying languages and customs is also home to a variety of religions . This diversity tends to be a disadvantage when it comes to issues like fair elections and transparent National census count. The diversity has also led to a chronic problem of ethnic politics which has in turn given birth to militancy. All these being the result of some ethnic or religious groups trying to be the dominant group in terms of numbers and political victors. These problems have in many cases resulted in the loss of lives and properties.
A good identification system that can easily account for the total number of Nigerians at home and its legal immigrants will go a long way in addressing these political problems which has become the source of most of the civil problems in the country. This is because an effective National identification register can easily be used for check and balance whenever it is needed for a fair election, transparent census count and governmental administrations.
The political and civil situations discussed in preceding sections led to the following research question:
How should Nigeria National identification system be designed to help fight her recurring problems of electoral fraud, manipulated census count figures, and the lot of her civil problems?
This thesis is made up of seven chapters.
Chapter one which is the present chapter covers the introduction, motivation, the problem statement and the objectives of the thesis.
Chapter two informs the reader about the various government agencies that make up the Nigeria National identification system.
Understanding national identification is relevant to this thesis work, hence chapter three reviews National identification.
The understanding of identification technologies used in identification today is relevant to this thesis. Chapter four reviews the identification technologies relevant to this thesis.
Chapter five is about the restructuring of the Nigeria National identification system.
Chapter six illustrates how the restructured identification system should be used to tackle the problems stated in the previous sections of this thesis.
Chapter seven will be discussing reliability, privacy issues and the cost of implementation of the system.
Chapter eight concludes the thesis and suggests some further work.
Although my supervisors may have gone through this thesis, they may disagree with some concepts in it. This thesis is therefore my own personal conceptions and opinion on how to tackle the political and civil problems that troubles my country.
My conceptions and opinion were undoubtedly influenced by my experiences home and abroad and as such may differ from the way such kind of problems are approached in other geographical locations.
The Nigeria National identification system is made up of several agencies with each agency having its own responsibilities. Notable among them are the agencies in the following sections.