The delay by the Federal Government in implementing the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria, BRISIN, is holding back foreign investors and the European Union in confirming their participation in the scheme.
The Head of BRISIN International team from Italy, Professor Vincenzo Naso, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, told the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, that the failure to expedite action on the project has denied Nigeria the benefit of efficient planning and rapid economic development. Prof. Naso and his team were in Nigeria for the flag off of the project which has been on the drawing board since 2007 when an agreement was signed with Dermo Impex, the solution providers.
They left for Italy with mixed feelings owing to lack of proper coordination between the Ministry and the National Bureau of Statistics.
“Delaying this project has caused Nigeria some reasonable setback in credibility and proper economic planning. It has negatively affected internally generated revenue, fiscal policy and management, security control and migration monitor as well as provision of social welfare services.
“I have the strong opinion that the continued delay of this project is dangerous and your government cannot afford to allow other smaller African countries move ahead while you keep watching without taking the necessary steps developed countries took to get to where they are today,” Prof. Naso told the minister.
He expressed regret that prospective investors may reconsider their participation in the project unless the federal government shows enough commitment by releasing funds for the pilot scheme in the federal capital territory.
“We are very enthusiastic and convinced on the viability of this project. Our presence at this meeting is to fast-track the release of project funds and flag off so that we can activate numerous foreign investments and international financial participation that would increase employment opportunities and allow Nigerians to start benefitting from this great system,” Prof. Naso said.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, described the project as very useful to proper planning and organised development. He promised to ensure its prompt implementation as soon as he receives the report of the technical team supervised by the Statistician-General of the Federation.
Head of BRISIN implementation in Nigeria, Dr Anthony Uwa, described the scheme as “one instrument that guarantees security, job creation, social services and welfare, justice and equity, economic monitoring and control, good fiscal policy and discipline, good governance and rapid democratic development. For me and Nigerians in Diaspora, BRISIN cannot be delayed even for one day if this government must make the change.”