The Federal Government  has approved the recognition and observance of September 16 of every year as National Identity Day targeted at creating awareness on the importance of identification as a modern tool for national development and social cohesion.

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

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha conveyed government’s approval in a letter dated August 29, 2019 and addressed to the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engineer Aliyu Aziz.

In the letter signed by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David K. Gende, the SGF said it had become imperative for Nigeria to join the Coalition for International Identity Day, in view of the need to recognise the role of identity management for proper planning, governance and efficient service delivery.

Boss Mustapha directed the National Identity Management Commission to proceed with educational and awareness campaigns on the proposed Identity Day to other public and private sector stakeholders, including institutions in the movement.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission, Engineer Aliyu Aziz, says NIMC has lined up a number of activities to formally launch the maiden edition of Nigeria’s Identity Day tomorrow, September 16, 2019 in Abuja.

Aziz, in a statement, said the Identity Day campaign was initiated at the 4th Annual Meeting of the ID4Africa Movement on 24 April 2018, in Abuja, as a global coalition calling for recognition by the United Nations of September 16 – or 16.9 – as International Identity Day (ID Day) given the increasing crucial role identity played worldwide in developed and developing economies.

NIMC D-G explained that the purpose of the International Identity Day was to raise awareness about the importance of identity in empowering individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably in a modern society, adding that the choice of September 16 was in recognition of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9 which called for legal identity for all, including birth registration by the year 2030.

He noted that many important issues on the international development and human rights agenda had their observance days, pointing out that it was generally believed that observances contributed to the achievement of the purposes of the UN Charter and promoted awareness of and action on important political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues.

Aziz added that observances also served as useful means for the promotion of international and national action and stimulation of interest in United Nations activities and programmes.

In keeping with the celebration in Delta, the state coordinator of the National Identity Management Commission, Barrister Henrietta Uche Okolo, will lead a delegation to Government House Asaba where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is expected to speak on the significance of the National Identity Day.

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