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NIN: BLS International Seals Biometric Services Deal For Nigerians Living In UK

Signage for BLS International Services Ltd. is displayed at the company's office in New Delhi, India, on Monday, March 20, 2017. Information technology is the largest employer in India's private sector, providing a livelihood to nearly 4 million, and contributes about 9 percent of gross domestic product. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A partnership deal has been struck between outsourcing service provider BLS International and data and digital enrolment services firm Files Solutions Limited to help Nigeria’s National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offer biometric enrollment services to Nigerians residing in the United Kingdom, BLS said in a press release.

There are an estimated 205,000 Nigerians in the UK, with about 97,000 of them living in London.

Per the three-year deal, BLS will enable NIMC to enroll the biometrics and biographical data of the Nigerians for the issuance of national identification numbers (NINs) as part of a digital identity database enrolment program which is also ongoing back home.

According to the BLS announcement, its center in London will soon begin handing out NINs, as well as the General Multi-purpose Cards (GMPCs) which will be used by Nigerians abroad for various purposes including passport issuance, voter registration, and the opening of a bank account, among others.

The biometrics-backed NIN is also mandatory for certain services in Nigeria such as for delivery of driver’s licenses and registration for entrance into public universities.

Shikhar Aggarwal, joint managing director for BLS International, expressed delight after the deal was concluded, saying the company looks forward to offering streamlined services for NIMC.

“We are delighted to support the initiative by National Identity Management Commission, Nigeria by assisting them to streamline their identity management services for Nigerian citizens. Our domain expertise and tech-enabled services will help in seamless roll out of the project and making it successful. We are delighted by strengthening our footprint with newer partnerships serving global as well as local client governments,” said Aggarwal.

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As part of this ID services management process, helplines, an email contact address and a website will be put at the disposal of users in the days ahead, the announcement says.

This activity is not new to BLS International, as it has executed identity management and verification projects for the governments of Canada, Afghanistan and Egypt.