Engr. Bisoye-Odusote, Director-General, National Identity Management Committee (NIMC), who marked her 40th birthday on April 26, is one of the outstanding young female Nigerian professionals driving the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fruition.

Before her appointment to the Commission, Coker-Odusote was the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA). Her mandate at LASIMRA involved managing key utility infrastructure providers – telecommunication, power, and gas operators – to promote standards and procedures in infrastructural development and maintenance, reducing damage to public utilities whilst fostering collaboration amongst the stakeholders in improving public safety and transforming Lagos state to a smart city.

Her innovative work at LASIMRA was impactful within the utility infrastructure space and well acknowledged amongst its stakeholders and the public. This earned her recognition as one of the value-driven CEOs of excellence that powered Nigeria’s economic growth in 2022 based on LASIMRA’s contribution to digital infrastructure.

Coker-Odusote has carried that knack for excellence to NIMC. Since she assumed duties less than a year ago, the commission has undergone a profound evolution, embracing cutting-edge technologies and pioneering innovative solutions to address the challenges of identity verification and authentication in the country. Coker-Odusote has not only achieved extraordinary milestones but has also set new standards of excellence in the field of identity management.

Coker-Odusote has taken steps to streamline National Identity Number (NIN) registration processes, while addressing the long-standing challenges associated with identity registration in Nigeria. She is handling this through strategic restructuring and the integration of advanced technologies with a view to significantly reducing waiting time and enhancing the overall efficiency of the system.

Today, Date of Birth and other kinds of modifications at NIMC happen within 48 hours. The several years backlog of Date of Birth modifications she inherited have been cleared, as she gave a one-month deadline for the same to relevant staff of the Commission. Responses to issues and complaints, such as those whose National Identity Numbers did not hit the NIN Verification Portal are now resolved within 24 hours.

The NIMC CEO has taken steps to enhance data security by introducing robust measures to fortify the protection of citizens’ sensitive information. This includes, but not limited to the adoption of cutting-edge encryption technologies and the establishment of a dedicated cybersecurity team.

Her interest in improving service delivery at NIMC has led her to introduce initiatives to ensure regular training and retraining of staff of the Commission, emphasizing customer-centric approaches, to ensure a more positive experience for citizens seeking identity services.

Coker-Odusote, leveraging her extensive network and expertise, has forged strategic partnerships with governmental agencies, private organizations, and international bodies. These collaborations aim to enhance the NIMC’s capacity, foster innovation, and promote information sharing for improvements in identity management.

Because of the pivotal role of technology in modernizing identity management, Engr. Coker-Odusote has spearheaded the integration of biometric advancements and artificial intelligence into the registration and verification processes. This not only improves accuracy, user experience and ease of enrolment, but also positions NIMC at the forefront of technological innovation in identity management. A typical example is the NIMC Contactless Biometric Solution, which delivers a best-in-class fingerprint and facial capture image output quality, powered by Artificial Intelligence. The new solution was unveiled by the commission at the 2023 Identity Day, held in Abuja on September 16, 2023.

Recognizing the crucial role played by the NIMC staff in achieving organizational goals, the CEO has developed for implementation, a robust welfare programme aimed at boosting morale and fostering a positive work environment. This includes, but not limited to training opportunities, health benefits, and performance recognition initiatives.

Furthermore, in consultation with in-house experts, elaborate public awareness campaigns have been planned to ensure that citizens are well-informed about the importance and benefits of identity registration. These campaigns are expected to not only educate the public, but also serve to demystify the registration process, encouraging greater participation.

The NIMC DG has concluded plans to take the ecosystem enrolment forward by taking steps to deepen collaboration with ecosystem implementing partners, supporting to ensure the success and optimal performance of the Nigeria Digital Identification for Development (ID4D) Project, a Nigerian Project jointly funded by The World Bank, The European Investment Bank, and the French Development Agency.

Engr. Coker-Odusote’s strategic vision, commitment to efficiency, and emphasis on technological innovation has positioned NIMC for a future where identity management is not only secure but also seamlessly integrated into the daily lives of citizens.

The NIMC DG has demonstrated her commitment to sanitizing the system, entrenching a culture of transparency and zero tolerance for corruption. Apart from putting systems and structures in place to discourage graft, she is directly involved in ensuring that the cankerworm has no place in the commission. Recently,  she paid an unscheduled visit to the Federal Capital Territory office of the commission, where she reportedly arrested some staff for allegedly extorting money from Nigerians for  enrolment which is a free service.

Coker-Odusote’s leadership has led to unprecedented growth and progress in NIMC, significantly advancing the country’s digital identity infrastructure. One of Engr. Coker-Odusote’s most notable achievements is her relentless advocacy for the adoption of digital identity solutions, which enhance security, efficiency, and inclusivity. She has spearheaded groundbreaking projects aimed at expanding access to digital identity services, particularly in underserved communities.

Under her leadership, NIMC has played a pivotal role in empowering millions of Nigerians with secure and verifiable identities, laying the foundation for a more inclusive and digitally enabled society. In addition, she has expedited the enrollment and distribution of National Identification Numbers (NINs) to all Nigerians and legal residents while also streamlining and integrating existing identity databases across the country.

Engineer Coker-Odusote is a tireless advocate for inclusive identity management policies, recognizing the fundamental importance of ensuring that every Nigerian has access to secure and reliable identification. Her advocacy efforts have contributed to greater awareness and engagement on issues of identity management, paving the way for meaningful change and progress.

Engr. Coker-Odusote, born in 1984, is a professionally trained tech enthusiast who has held roles that improved stakeholders’ engagements and execution of digital transformation projects.

Her life and professional journeys have been extraordinary and remarkable. From humble beginnings to her current position at the helm of NIMC, she has overcome numerous challenges and obstacles with grace and resilience. Her story is a robust proof of perseverance and determination. It is a stark reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

Her career history includes serving as the Head of Information Technology & Communication at Bate Litwin, an engineering company working on projects such as Chevron ESA (JV with Atlas). Prior to her stint at Bate Litwin, she had held several key positions in different companies, where she was responsible for information technology policies and systems implementation, project management and software development, across Nigeria and the United Kingdom. With her expertise and wealth of experience in information technology and data management, she has consulted for various entities on development and implementation of robust electronic identity database management systems.

In 2021, she became the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (GM/CEO) of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), which is charged with regulating utility infrastructure within the state. Before LASIMRA, she had served as the Special Adviser on Technology to Bola Ahmed Tinubu while he was Governor of Lagos state.

As a tech advocate and visionary, she was the National Database Project Director for the All Progressives Congress (APC), showcasing her commitment to utilising technology for transformative purposes.

The Director General of NIMC sits on the IT Data Network Limited board, amongst other key positions in Nigeria and abroad.  She has also founded a tech advancement initiative under The Bibi Coker Foundation that gives education grants to women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)-related degrees.