Jan. 13, 2013
-- Incept is one of the top brands of biometrics in India, and Arinze Chukwuemeka is one of the top technical lawyers in Nigeria. In the recently concluded Nigerian general elections, biometric identity of voters was comprehensively used, but the idea was lambasted by the opposition. Legal battle ensued and expert advice was demanded, and the same was provided through Arinze's firm. But a question remained: is biometrics really going to be the identity decider of Nigerian citizens and is it a right step to form Nigeria Identity Management Commission.
Incept Training Academy from India was involved, and the same provided Arinze and team the detailed insights into the functioning of a biometric system- the weaknesses, strengths and other pointers were designed and conveyed. NIMC formed AVCH (Authentication and Verification Clearing House) in late 2012, re-designed upon recommendations through Incept and Arinze, which now acts as the managing body for ASAs (Authorization Service Agents) who will take up the work of enrolling all Nigerian citizens into biometrics.
In India too, a few million citizens have been enrolled through the biometric scheme UID (Aadhar); but considering the population of India, it looks like a long way is still to be traversed. Nigeria is a step ahead and have taken active recommendations from Indian biometric brands, including Incept and Solus. Incept's CEO Ashwin Srivastava was quoted as saying "India's Aadhar Program has led to a large increase in the people of the world taking notice of us. Nigerian firms contacted us because of the same, as they believe that our expertise in biometrics is higher, and probably that's true."
Both these schemes by the countries have a common long term aim, to decrease the corruption and illegal infiltration prevalent in the society and bureaucracy. It remains to be seen whether or not they turn out to be effective, but taking a note of the current scenarios of both the governments just reiterates the need of a strong identity system. Whether we like it or not, biometrics is here to stay in Nigeria and in India. And probably, other developing countries are taking notes.