Experts decry rising identity theft - THE NATION
BY Daniel Adeleye
The rising rate of crime within the nation’s business ecosystem has been blamed on identity theft. To curb such incidence, an online community policing platform, CheckMyPeople Limited, in partnership with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has launched Identification Verification System (IVS) to prevent forgery and crimes among employees especially the domestic ones.
Speaking at the official launching of the platform in Lagos, the founder Chudi Obiofuma said the greatest risks households in Nigeria face today is dependence on unknown and unverified persons for domestic services.
Obiofuma noted that the way employers recruit people for domestic services is usually through an informal process of referrals, the process which had subjected many families to theft, job abandonment, poor services, incompetence and in extreme cases, physical harm to them like poisoning, kidnapping and even murder.
He observed that the wall of silence among employers is the reason why some criminal elements posing as domestic staff can move from one home to another committing crimes as there are no records of such crimes available to their prospective employers.
Obiofuma maintained that because employers have no way of checking the true identity and past records of the people who they are employing into their homes for various services make easier for them to carry out crimes at will.
He believes that when every member of the community document their staff, the community gets to maintain a comprehensive work history of all domestic employees within that community and hopefully Nigeria at large.
He stated that CheckMyPeople has adopted the National Identification Number (NIN) as the unique identifier on their platform because of its association with stringent biometric data collection by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and uniquely identifies every registered Nigerian.
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Obiofuma announced that CheckMyPeople is pleased to launch its Identification Verification Services (IVS) under Verification license with National identity Management Commission (NIMC) for the Verification of the National Identification Number (NIN) adding that the service is a very crucial step in every employer’s ability to conduct effective due diligence.
Responding on behalf of Director General of National Identity Management Commission, Engr. Azeez Aliu, the Lagos Regional Director of the commission, Kayode Adegoke, described the initiative of CheckMyPeople as creative idea and first in Africa.
Adegoke stressed that Nigeria is at the front runner in digital identity system owing to the fact that other African countries including South Africa has come to borrow a leaf from the current digital identity module operating in the country.
Adegoke revealed that the commission has registered about 400 million Nigerians, which is 40 percent of estimated 200 million population of Nigerians.
“For us in NIMC our emphasis is on National Identification Number NIN because it will help organisations to check the needed information about their employees”