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Breaking: Nigeria becomes first country to formally adopt National Identity Day

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the recognition and observance of September 16 of every year as National Identity Day, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has revealed.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Abdulhamid Umar General Manager, Operations/Corporate Communications of NIMC made this known in a statement on Friday.

According to Abdulhamid, this is a practical move to create awareness on the importance of identification as a modern tool for national development and social cohesion.

He stated that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha conveyed the government’s approval in a letter dated August 29, 2019 and addressed to the Director-General of the NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz.

According to the statement, in the letter signed on the SGF’s behalf by David K. Gende, the Director, Planning, Research & Statistics in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Mustapha conveyed government’s approval to the NIMC chief executive officer that Nigeria “should join the Coalition for International Identity Day” in response to the latter’s earlier request.

The letter reads in part: “I am to inform you that the SGF has considered and approved (i) that Nigeria should join the Coalition for International Identity Day, which will recognise the role of identity management for proper planning, governance and efficient service delivery:

“(ii) that the National Identity Management Commission should proceed with educational and awareness campaigns on the proposed identity day to other public and private sector stakeholders including institutions in the movement.”

By the approval, therefore, Nigeria becomes the first country in the world to formally adopt September 16, otherwise called 16.9, as Identity Day (ID-Day).

Engr. Aziz, in a statement, said NIMC has lined up a number of activities to formally launch Nigeria’s Identity Day on September 16, 2019, being the debut edition.

According to him, the programme will take place in Abuja, with stakeholders from public and private sectors attending.

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The ID-Day campaign was initiated at the 4th Annual Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement on 24 April 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria, as a global coalition calling for the recognition by the United Nations of September 16 – or 16.9 – as International Identity Day (ID Day) given that identity plays an increasingly important role worldwide in developed as well as developing economies.

The NIMC DG explained that: “The purpose of International Identity Day is to raise awareness about the important role identity plays in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society.

“And we are delighted that Nigeria has become the first country in the world to declare September 16 as ID Day, thereby leading the rest of the world in this important direction”.

He further explained that the choice of the date, 16 September, was in recognition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9 which calls for legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030.

“Many important issues on the international development and human rights agenda have an observance day. For example, 10 December is Human Rights Day, while the 20th of June is Refugee Day. Now is the one for identity to have a day of observance,” he stated.

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